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Apology

a regretful acknowledgment of an offense or failure.

It’s Too Late To Apologize

Is it ever too late to apologize? I’ll leave that answer up to you.

The other day I got released from a really big job. My manager (the most amazing woman ever) apologized to me. It was completely unnecessary because that’s just the nature of the business, but she knows how hard I work and understood what it meant to me. She followed it up with a “I  believe in you.” It was truly heartfelt and I appreciated her acknowledgement of me as a person and an artist and the struggles that we go through.

But sometimes people apologize and don’t mean it. If you’re one of those, you should know that an apology without meaning is really manipulation. Have you ever had someone say, “I’m sorry you feel that way.” This is the worst apology of all because it really isn’t one. What it is, is a passive aggressive way of saying I’ll let you think I am acknowledging your feelings, when really I don’t give a crap about them at all.

I have had a few turdy people do some pretty shitty things to me in my life and I have never expected an apology from any of them nor do I want one. An empty person can only beget an empty apology which leaves you feeling emptier, and I don’t know about you, but I would rather be at a table with those who bring something to it, in lieu of those who only know how to take.

Here are my thoughts on an apology.:

1)An apology is not a confession. If you’re confessing, you’re only thinking of yourself and not the person you are apologizing to.

2)An apology should not be done with an expectation either. This is called an agenda and an agenda is all about you.

3)An apology is not some magic pill that you think is going to make you feel better once you do it. You’re swimming back in the me waters again. Save that shit for the confessional!

4)An apology should not be done because you think it will make things better in a situation, like a family thing. This is called acting. A person in touch with another person’s feelings will know when they need to say they are sorry, it won’t be scripted.

5)An apology is not something that requires the right time or the right circumstance. If you think this way, then you live in denial, because there is no much thing.

In it’s simplest form, an apology is the acknowledgement of another person’s feelings and how you may have trampled all over them. In order to know this, you have to have empathy. You have to have the ability to understand the feelings of someone else and be able to share those feelings openly and honestly. If you can’t do that, then don’t bother with an apology because it won’t be taken as one. (See 1-5 for where you are coming from).

But there are those times when we think we might need to apologize to someone, when it isn’t necessary at all. I think these apologies are from our own guilt because we know we did something that may have upset someone else, but it wasn’t intentional. An apology with an energy of fear or trepidation around it might be some program you’re running which has absolutely nothing at all to do with the person you think you need to apologize to, and you might want to look further into that.

My gauge for apologizing is simple. If I can see, hear or sense that I have upset someone in my life that I care about, then I do not hesitate. The relationships I have are far more important to me than my ego, so I acknowledge my part in someone else’s sadness, anger or frustration because my heart becomes lighter when I do so. A heavy heart is a burdened one; let that shit go.

Relationships that matter to us aren’t always easy. Sometimes things are said or weren’t said, and we wish we could go back and do things differently. But living in the past doesn’t work for anyone because it’s over. It is the present that counts.

Our time, our energy, our attention lets the people we care about know that we hear them, see them and understand them and that no matter what is going on in our world, we honor them by noticing what is going on in theirs as well.

And at the end of the day, that’s all any of us really want, isn’t it? To be honored, seen, appreciated and loved for who we are, by those we care for most.

 

 

Kintsugi

pottery

Is a Japanese art form in which breaks and repairs are treated as part of the object’s history. Broken ceramics are carefully mended by artisans with a lacquer resin mixed with powdered gold, silver or platinum. The repairs are visible — yet somehow beautiful.

We are all Kintsugi, aren’t we? Beautiful, broken human beings from heartache, pain, suffering and life in general. Through all of the trials and tribulations we have managed to pull ourselves together and rise above the constant barrage of garbage that was thrown our way.

We are walking stories; histories filled with suffering, rejections and abandonments. Our wounds are our gold, much like the cracks that are fixed in the Japanese art form. So why do we not bring attention to them instead of hiding them away?

As we ascend and look further into ourselves, instead of into others for answers, we are forced to ask, “Who am I without all of the masks I wear, trying to impress others? Why am I afraid to share who I really am? Why do I pretend to be something I am not? And Why do I accept less than what I know I deserve?

Why do we struggle so much with these questions, when it really doesn’t have to be so complicated. Why don’t we embrace the parts of us that we perceive as broken, because in actuality they aren’t really broken at all. They are simply kintsugi.

Our history should be embraced whole heartedly, because it has made us who we are, which is nothing more than perfect.

May you look at your flaws as a piece of art, instead of hiding them away, and let those who are willing to see you for who you truly are, into your heart.

 

 

 

 

 

Light

light

the sensation aroused by stimulation of the visual receptors

Shining Star

There are many types of light. Light in color, light weight and can I get a light? But the light I am referring to is the inner one.

People who have an inner light, an inner radiance, seem to emanate actual light from their bodies, as though they glow.

We are drawn to people who are light and are completely turned away by those who we perceive as dark/heavy. They aren’t actually dark, but compared to someone who is light, they appear that way and actually feel that way when we are around them.

People who do not have their own light will seek it out from those who do. They crave love, validation and acceptance and instead of giving those qualities to themselves, it’s easier to take it from someone who already has them, so that is what they do.

Hey, the more light the merrier, right? So people with light share theirs freely because it feels good to do so and they operate from a place of pure joy and authenticity so they think nothing of it.

The problem with this giving without conditions, is that people who do not have their own light take and take from those who have it and give nothing in return, essentially depleting the light of its brightness.

Have you ever felt really drained around someone? Like you are trudging through water with weighted boots and cloaked in a four hundred pound coat? You can’t shake the heaviness no matter how hard you try, but ironically the person who is heavy feels as light as a feather when they are with you. This is a person who has just zapped your light. And while you scramble around trying to find your energy, that person flits away like a bee leaving a flower after grabbing its nectar.

People who do not possess an inner light may be depressed, angry or needy. These are people who cannot see the light within themselves, but they see it so clearly in you. In fact, they may even resent you for it so they might do and say anything to try and keep you from seeing it yourself.

Darkness does have its purpose though – it shows you the absence of light. Who are these people at their core, without the light they so freely take from others? I don’t think they even know. The pearls, guidance and love you give so freely helps them shine brighter for a moment, but is it not sustaining. And most importantly, it isn’t your job.

The only job you have is to shine brighter. You know that the light that people see is really love for the self. Everyone wants love but most people aren’t willing to work for it. It comes with a price. And it’s a hefty one. You have to do the work. The inner work. The gritty, hard, sad, frustrating, lonely, gut wrenching work. And some folks just can’t be bothered.

But when you do the work, your reward is the light. The light of self love is what people are drawn to because on some level we all know that this is true freedom.

Love the self and watch yourself glow!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Humility

“the state of being humble.”

Begging

And what better way to show your humility, then to sit on your knees on the floor of Penn Station, hands outreached towards anyone who might help you?

Yesterday I was in the city for an audition and as I came up the stairs to catch the 2/3 train, there was a man doing just this. He left enough room for people to walk by him, which several did, but he caught me off guard and my heart immediately went out to him.

I went in my wallet and saw that I only had a ten dollar bill. I thought for a moment about gifting it to him, but knew I should always have some cash on hand, so I looked at the board to see when the next train was coming to see if I had time to run downstairs and get change from a business.

Two minutes didn’t seem like enough time, so I looked around at the people on the platform. One woman came up the stairs and glanced over at the man and walked over to the side to pull out her wallet. I asked her for change, to which she obliged and I gave him some money and she did too.

I waited for the train and watched people come and go as though he didn’t even exist. I thought to myself, what makes them walk by? Do they not see? Are they numb? Or are they judging him?

This man reminded me of one of the first times I gave money to someone asking for it. I was on the subway with my father in law, his new wife my husband and our children. I gave a man two dollars and my father in-law looked at me and said, “Why would you do that? He’s only going to by drugs with it.” I don’t think I answered him, as I was too flabbergasted by his comment.

Clearly he was not raised the way I was, where my mother always reminded me of not to judge others “Until you walk a mile in their moccasins”.  But I guess when you have become accustomed to wearing Gucci or Ferragamo loafers, you can’t be bothered with people who don’t.

Judgements like that do not serve anyone, mostly the people who judge. My children were there that day and I believe it was the beginning of them starting to see Grandpa in a different light. Mostly a dark one. They have always had a keen sense of others and understanding who is authentic and who is not. They have always given money to people who ask and are three of the most amazing people I know.

My father in-law does not see this side of them, because he doesn’t see them at all. Through the years the judgements became ever-present and my children stopped talking to him. They literally have no relationship whatsoever with him because they do not want one. I’m sure he blames me. People who judge need to judge someone, so I’m an easy target, just as a person begging for money is.

As the train pulled into the station a bunch of students being directed by their teacher came up the stairs and all looked at the man. They walked past him but then two boys came back with money in their hands and gave it to him.

I could feel the tears starting to fill my eyes. Seeing the humility in this man and understanding even on the smallest level, what is must be like to ask for help from complete strangers and hoping that someone sees you without judgement. Isn’t what we all want?

You might not be in need of anything today, but one day you will. It may not be money or food, it might just be a shoulder to cry on or someone to share news with. But if you have judged others along the way, shown no empathy and only thought of yourself, I cannot imagine a lonelier existence.

A gift is a gift and in the giving we get joy. As far as I know a price cannot be put on joy, but I think the person who receives that, is far luckier then the person who gets the gift. It is an equal exchange, so the next time you hesitate when giving a gift, remember that joy is your reward.

Humility my friends, is what separates those who have empathy from those who do not. When you have the ability to put yourself in someone else’s shoes for just a moment and be kind, understanding, loving and open to their story instead of your own, then you have evolved.  To me, it is the true measure of a person who gets it. Everybody else falls into the needs to go back to kindergarten category and learn the basics.

Leadership is about empathy. It is about having the ability to relate to and connect with people for the purpose of inspiring and empowering their lives.

— Oprah Winfrey

 

 

Beauty

a combination of qualities, such as shape, color, or form, that pleases the aesthetic senses, especially the sight.

IMG_0052

This was my dog, Bernie. He was so beautiful internally, that his essence made its way into the external and I found him utterly handsome.

He had about five teeth in all and the two bottom ones protruded. He snapped sometimes at other people, mostly men, because usually puppy mills are operated by them, so as you can imagine, dogs don’t trust or like them.

When we first found our way to one another it wasn’t love at first sight. I didn’t see his beauty and he certainly didn’t see mine. I saw a dog who needed  a lot of rehabilitation, he saw another person who was a threat.

I foster dogs and he needed fostering, so I was tasked with getting him ready to be adopted. He was broken, scared, full of distrust and peed everywhere. Most dogs who come from puppy mills have suffered greatly and worst of all, have never felt love. They have never been touched by a hand, unless it is to grab them and throw them in another cage to mate (hence the snapping). 

His name was Big Bang when I got him. Ridiculous for sure! Bernie means victory bringer, strong, brave bear, so I thought that fitting since he was so determined to heal, so I changed it.

He grew on me pretty quickly and when it came time to give him back to the shelter, I couldn’t. How could I? He had learned to trust me, understand what love was and not flinch when I went to pet him. We had a bond.

Bernie used to spin in circles on command when he saw me and ran little laps around the yard because he was so happy when I came home. He loved to cuddle, too and be held.

Bernie spent nine of his twelve years of life in a puppy mill, so this display of utter joy was beautiful to behold. If you’re not aware of what a puppy mill is, please look them up. This post is about beauty, not torture, so I don’t want to get into it.

Bernie was with me for awhile, until he was tragically hit by a car and died in my arms on the way to the animal hospital. I bawled for days over his death. It was completely unnecessary. A freak accident.

But the beauty that he brought into my life remains. I keep his photo on my living room shelf and my desktop. I knew how beautiful Bernie was, which is why I miss him so much.

Sometimes beauty is right in front of us and we don’t even see it. For one reason or another we just don’t recognize the beauty in someone or something and we pass it over. Beauty does not argue nor does it hold a grudge when this happens. It has a wisdom that understands we cannot see inner beauty if we do not posses it ourselves.

It is of the utmost importance that you understand that no one is ever rejecting you. People are either vibing towards what you have to offer or they aren’t. It’s really that simple. One you understand this, you will never see anything or anyone as rejecting you again. You will see it as a form of directing you towards those who honor you, instead of those who do not. There is so much power in that.

Real beauty, the inner kind, does not need validation, an apology or forgiveness.  It is love without conditions because it is divine and pure of essence. Inner beauty is all that should matter to any of us, but too often it doesn’t.

When I was in my thirties there was a certain young man who took me out for a date. I wasn’t that attracted to him ( I was in a “only if he’s handsome and vapid sort of stage” at the time) but a co worker insisted I go, pressing me about how nice he was and even agreed to come along. Can you imagine? That poor guy!

I remember this guy in particular because he made me a collage afterwards. I was moving to New York for work and he had taken clippings from magazines of Manhattan all relating to me and my life. He was genuine and kind only wanted to show me how much he liked me, but I was too into appearances then, so I dismissed his beauty, the one that truly mattered (the inner kind), thanked him for the collage and said bye.

He saw my beauty but I could not see his. I was so focused on career, getting ahead and dating jerks that didn’t give a crap about me, that I didn’t value it.  How could I, when I didn’t even value myself?

I finally understand that beauty is not a surface thing, but an inner thing. It’s how someone makes you feel internally, like you’ve swallowed a rainbow. It’s how you light up when you see them because they do the same. It’s a knowing that they have your back no matter what is going on around you and they are the first person you want to be with when you’ve had a stellar day or a shitty one.

I have been blessed to be surrounded by beauty for a good part of my life. There have been times where ugly seeped in, both inside and out, but all and all I’ve been pretty lucky and I find the more I focus on beauty, the more arrives.

I spend most mornings out back in my yard listening to birds. They chirp to one another in their bird lingo (probably wondering when I am going to feed them) and some mornings a nice breeze blows through the tree branches and I hear the wind chimes on the back porch ring.

There is so much beauty in this world! Sometimes it’s right in front of us and we don’t even see it, but if we just change our focus, we will witness miracles.

May you find beauty in your world, no matter who or what gifts it to you and appreciate it for all of its glory and wonder.

Beauty is not in the face; beauty is a light in the heart.     

Kahlil Gibran

Attachments

an extra part or extension that is or can be attached to something to perform a particular function.

pins

While an attachment such as a paper clip might be a necessity to keep something together, attachments in relationships are detrimental.

At first you may not even notice there are attachments to your new love interest’s affection, the friend you make at work or a family member, but once you awaken, you start to realize that when they do something for you, you are expected to do something in return.

Any form of attachment or clause, isn’t authentic. At it’s core, it is a relationship with conditions that are based on control. A vicious cycle of tit for tat that has absolutely no end, until you realize what is going on and call it quits.

People who have relationships based on attachments live in a world of fear. A scarcity mindset. They are so afraid of showing any type of emotion, that they keep you at bay by making you feel bad for having any at all.

Have you ever tried to express your feelings to someone who has attachments to their attention?  It’s like you are speaking different languages altogether. The more you express the more their eyes glaze over and pretty soon you are consumed with frustration, wondering why  you even broached the subject at all.

Actually, what was the subject? You’ve forgotten now because they bamboozled you into thinking your rational expectation of having real feelings be exchanged was made out to be an unrealistic one.

Relationships built on trust, mutual respect and integrity  have no conditions, except for trust, mutual respect and integrity. It is based on the premise that  I do for you because I want to, not because I expect something in return. I do for you simply because it feels good and I want to help you. I buy something for you because I see it, know you would like it and I remember you telling me how much you wanted it.

Relationships with attachments are the exact opposite. These dysfunctional behaviors are taught to us as children. If we do not work on these inner wounds, we will attract people into our lives who have attachments similar to the ones we grew up with.

It’s absolutely maddening, since you swore you would never ever live with the shit you hated as a child.

I see this so clearly now. Since the age of 12 I lived with conditions around love. Up until then I never questioned love or the price people make you pay for it. But when divorce hit my home and my parents remarried, love came with a hefty price.

While I hated what was being asked of me, by people who were supposed to love me unconditionally, keep me safe and protect me, I went along. They were my parents. I knew it was wrong, but as a child, we feel powerless and therefore we succumb to the unacceptable.

Attachments to love abounded. ‘Keep the peace” “Just say you’re sorry, even if you don’t mean it” “Make things easy on me, just get along with everyone” “Don’t you love me? If you loved me, you would do this for me” These were the messages that I absorbed about love, at the most influential age.

I am older now and have done extensive inner work to heal the past. The people who have been in my life since that time were merely a reflection of the program I carried about love and my belief of it.

These patterns continue throughout our lives until we say enough. Enough already! Do you really want to continue to attract a relationship with conditions? No! You want love! The good shit!

So…ask yourself where in your life you are accepting less than what you really want and know you deserve.

The only way to make effective change in your life is to change yourself. You will never, ever change a person who loves with attachments. Ever! They are incapable of love on your level.

Save your energy and love yourself with the same devotion and level of commitment you have given someone who does not deserve it. You are worthy of it.

 

Freedom

freedom

the power or right to act, speak, or think as one wants without hindrance or restraint.

the state of not being imprisoned or enslaved.

Freedom

Freedom is power. But how do we gain it? Especially if we feel completely and utterly powerless?

Feeling powerless is a prison of our own making because of our inability to love ourselves unconditionally. We literally hand over our power to people who are far worse off then we are, because of low self worth.

The world is full of charlatans who will act as though they are better than you, just so they can tear you down. But when you have had enough of phoney people treating you like you are beneath them, the real magic begins to happen. You understand that you are in a prison of your own making and you have had the keys all along.

We may be in shitty situations with the most shittiest of people, but ultimately, we have the ability at any given time to feel free.

When we understand that our freedom comes from within, all of our struggles disappear. This freedom is a mental state, an inner state, a being. It is a knowing that no matter what is going on outside of you, that no matter what someone does to you, no matter what they say or no matter how they try to tear you down, you know who you truly are and that their words and their actions are merely a reflection of how they do not love themselves. 

The real joke here, is that people like that saw how special you were, they just didn’t want you to notice. So they took your shine and gave it to themselves. Take back your shine, which is really your power.

Embrace the beauty of who you are! This means all of your short comings, mishegas and perceived problems. When you own all of you, you become so powerful, so free and limitless. 

See yourself as the amazing person you know you are. See yourself as gifted…you have so many, maybe explore a few. See yourself as unique…because you are. Once you see yourself in the highest form of love, so will others, and your outer life will reflect that back to you.

I promise!