Ain’t No Sunshine

Feeling low because we have lost someone in our life due to their lack of commitment to us, is something we can all relate to in one way or another.

You are either on the receiving end of this gloominess because you treated the person in your life like they didn’t matter, or you are the one who took your shine away and is now giving it to someone who values you.

If you are the one on the receiving end, it must feel pretty horrible. I’ve never been on the receiving end because I don’t devalue people who are bringing value to my life. In fact, I don’t devalue anyone because I feel that everyone has value and something to offer.

You don’t even have to be a conscious person to know when someone is a good person, but you do have to be a pretty big self-centered jerk to treat others like they don’t matter and then pine over them once they move on, because they got tired of your games.

People who devalue someone and make everything about themselves and only give little breadcrumbs of attention when they sense the other person is moving away, will eventually lose that person, because the sun can’t shine when it’s surrounded by clouds. And if you’re a person who does this to people, than you’re pretty dark.

The sun needs clear skies to be seen and to shine, just like people do. And no matter how much a person loves someone, if they aren’t being given anything in return, they will leave and never look back. It might take them awhile, but soon enough, they will.

The person who has been sopping up all of that goodness won’t like it either. This is because they have come to expect this amazing treatment from someone and in fact, took advantage of it. But they don’t see it that way, so they might go out of their way to retaliate. What they fail to realize is that doing this to try and gain the attention of the person they pushed away, only pushes them in the opposite direction even further.

If they don’t take that approach, there is always the other one. They stalk, think about them obsessively hoping the other person might pick up on their thoughts and reach out to them. God forbid they do the reaching! Its simply not in their character. But what is, is to carry on with more of the same toxic behavior where they give nothing but want it all in return.

It’s utterly insane, because they probably don’t even want the person they treated like garbage. What they want, is the attention that person gave so freely to them.

This is so commonplace for a person who discards others. They collect hearts like a hobby and have no regard for those they wound whatsoever. It’s only ever about them 24/7 and the only time they take notice of the other person, is when they aren’t being noticed by them anymore.

The point of this blog is simple. Value those in your life before they leave. Because once a person feels like you don’t care, is the exact moment you will realize just how much you do, and it is way too late at that point.

Somewhere Over The Rainbow

One of my favorite movies of all time! We used to go to my Nanny and Gramp’s house to watch this on their color television because we only had a black and white one. Wow! I’m definitely not young, but fully embrace with grace and gratitude the age that I am. These are nice qualities to see in anyone at any age.

Yesterday I had the pleasure of watching my youngest son play football. He switched schools this year. He’s 16 and it is his 8th school. And while some people might scowl at that, I could care less. Every school has brought him on a journey that he saw somewhere over the rainbow and managed to conquer each one with passion, pride, strength and commitment. It wasn’t easy for him, but the person he is today has everything to do with chasing that rainbow.

All of my children have switched schools throughout the years because of this rainbow. I have been their biggest champion and catalyst in doing so. This is because I don’t believe in one size fits all and when I had a hard time one year in school, my father moved me. I get it! I always have! All you need is one person in your life to believe in you and you can achieve anything.

We seem to search a lot for this rainbow that we think is out there, somewhere beyond our grasp, when all we have to do is realize it’s right in front of us, we just choose to ignore it or run from it and make our journey back to ourselves so much harder than it need be.

And sometimes that journey is circuitous, but it doesn’t matter; sometimes we need that detour to show us a lesson in order to put us back on track.

As I watched him play for over 2 and a 1/2 hours, never being taken out of the game once, I felt this incredible pride and elation. I could see he was tired, but he never stopped. He pushed forward, playing the O line and Linebacker, hit his helmet a few times with his hands and powered through like a true champion. I had to give him Advil when he came home when i saw the bruises on his arms.

All he wanted to do was play football and now he does. He’s also quite brilliant and incredibly handsome and super amazingly nice. He’s the kid who I had to give dollar bills to when he commuted through New York City every day so he could give money to the homeless. Many times he gave his own lunch so that they could have food. In short, he has all the cards. I use this analogy a lot with my kids, because well, I make cards and it’s a good analogy.

They understand that not everyone has cards and that they are fortunate. They are missing a few, which has played a large part in their understanding of rainbows and how often times you wish certain people had your back, but actually don’t and therefore whatever it is you are striving for, must be done on your own volition.

The rainbow you think is elusive is merely a lie you tell yourself from taking action. When you commit to a journey and understand that it might take you out of your comfort zone for awhile but will eventually bring you to exactly where you need to be in order to fulfill your dreams, there is nothing to fear.

So you can either wait for a house to fall on an evil green witch or you can take one step today towards that future you perceive to be out there, somewhere over the rainbow, when the rainbow you are seeking, is right their in your heart and knows exactly which way to go.

What if This Day Was Your Last Day?

If you knew this was your last day, would you do anything different than you normally do? Would you take that leap of faith? Would you go skydiving? Swim with sharks? Submit that novel? Tell someone how you really feel?

Or would you just sit there and let the day end, feeling as though whatever action you took it wouldn’t really matter anyway because, well, it’s your last day and what is the point?

I think it’s interesting how people think they have all of the time in the world to make their dreams a reality, when in truth time is nothing more than an excuse we give ourselves to stay in our comfort zone. Because as long as we are in our heads instead of taking action, we are presumably safe and don’t have to face the fear of rejection.

Some of us will spend our whole lives in our heads. We conquer companies there, win an Oscar, have a love affair, write that book, take that trip around the world. I mean, we can do anything in our imaginations, right? But when it comes down to doing something about all those dreams, we come up with a million excuses as to why it won’t work, so we do absolutely nothing instead.

Recently I lost an acquaintance of mine. He and I had an unusual relationship. His name was Sandy and he was my manager for awhile. Sandy was the quintessential New Yorker who had a background in acting himself. He told it like it was and my fragile self often had a hard time with his words. Sometimes when I visited him he would just stare at me. When I finally broke the silence, with, “What?” He would say, “I’m just taking you in.”

Sandy represented my oldest son, Spencer too. He told me Spencer was a star. He is! He has that star quality about him and lights up a room every time he enters one. He is charismatic and has a brilliant stream of consciousness. When I told him Sandy died, he cried. He told me that they played ping pong together in his office once as they went over his monologue for college admissions. Spencer was 1 of 12 kids accepted into the MFA in Acting program at UConn.

As I reflected on our time together, I realized no one had ever pushed me like he had. I needed pushing in order to achieve the dreams I have for myself, so I reached out to Sandy a few months ago about having him represent me again. He said he would be interested in working with me and to get back to him in a month. I got busy with life and didn’t get back to him for three.

I didn’t hear from him after I sent him my materials and thought it odd. Of course if you’re an actor or any person waiting to hear from someone after you have reached out, you start to think the worst. What is the worst we imagine? Rejection of course. But that’s not the worst! Death is the worst. Never speaking to or seeing someone ever again is the biggest thing you should fear; nothing else matters at all.

I went to his website and saw that there were still operating hours for the agency so I called Sandy’s number. A man answered the phone that sounded just like him but said he was Sandy’s cousin. He said, “I was just heading out and heard Sandy’s phone ring. I don’t usually answer it, but thought it might have something to do with my work.” His cousin lives in LA and is an Emmy winning Producer. We chatted for a bit and he asked me to send my materials to him, so I did. I am meeting with him this week.

People like to say that life is short, but until you experience something like this, you really cannot grasp how short it really is. I regret that I waited so long to get back to Sandy. I assumed he would live forever because he was that tough. But he didn’t.

None of us are immortal. In fact, we all have a certain amount of days here; we just don’t know how many. We assume we have endless amounts, which is why we hold off on doing so many things we dream about.

This passing of Sandy woke me up quite a bit. It made me realize how I put things off or wait for the right circumstance to take action. But it’s all an illusion. A lie we tell ourselves. There is no perfect circumstance. There is only now. And right now I know that actions get results; thinking about taking actions gets you nothing.

It is in this one defining moment that the magic happens. Once you take that initial step the doors open one by one and all that is required of you is to keep walking. There is no struggle, there is no force, there is simply a willingness to live each day like it is your last.

If you don’t know which action to start with, close your eyes, take a deep breath and let all those beautiful images you have in your head, be your guide.

It’s Not Witchcraft…It’s Intuition

I’ve often wondered about the women who were condemned as witches for using their intuition. I mean, seriously! It is very telling of how threatened people feel by other people when they cannot figure them out.

Back in the day I would have been burned at the stake. I make posts on Instagram daily and here, using Oracle cards, which to some people, are probably considered evil. I don’t really resonate with the word oracle because I see my cards more along the lines of inspirational or motivational. If you go to the message page on my blog, I post one daily and you will see what I mean.

I digress. My point is, we look at someone and judge them for their differences instead of appreciating them. We want people to be on the same page with us, no matter what we think and the minute they don’t agree, we sit in our tower and look down on them, condemning them for their choice. This is happening a ton right now with the people who got vaxxed and those who have not. The judgement is off the charts. Like truly unbelievable!

I choose to look past all of the looks, the backstabbing and the judgment, because I am here to inspire and there is no room for negativity from others simply because I make different choices.

You can’t inspire by sitting on the sidelines, you have to be willing to put yourself out there. You can’t be afraid to be judged or ridiculed either because quite honestly, you don’t have a choice when you feel called to do something.

Your intuition is not a witchy thing, it’s a knowing thing. And mine tells me at every given moment what is needed, despite what anyone else thinks and I simply trust it.

I love this!

Self Sabotage

When we think of the word sabotage, we don’t get a good feeling. It literally means to destroy something and it is deliberate. This even sounds harsh! But what is far worse than sabotage, is the kind we to do ourselves.

You know you are self sabotaging when you are in an avoidance state. For one reason or another you hold yourself back from doing what you want to do. Your heart is calling you to the table so that you may feast on life’s bounty, and you are pretending you don’t hear it. You bury yourself in work, books, exercise…it doesn’t matter, you just ignore it.

You may want that job that you dream about and then when you meet someone who works at the company, you say you already have a job or you may even walk away from the person rather abruptly. As long as it remains in your head you are safe, but when it steps in front of you it’s too real, so you run the other way.

You say you want to lose weight but then will run out to McDonalds and order a Bic mac fries and of course, a diet Coke. On some level you don’t feel like you will ever reach your ideal weight, so you make sure it won’t happen.

Perhaps your fondest desire is to be in love, but you stay home every night and watch tv instead. People may even try to fix you up and maybe you go out to appease them. You meet a person who lights you up and your heart feels a stir. Your ego immediately steps in and reminds you of the last person who broke your heart and you shut yourself off. You come up with a million and one reasons why it won’t work and never see the person again.

Why is it someone would say they want something and then do nothing about it, when they are presented with an opportunity to have what they dream of? Because talking means feeling. If we have to express how we feel about something or someone and have been deeply hurt in our past, then we will do whatever we must in order to avoid feeling anything at all.

You may have distorted beliefs at this point that you are not loveable, likeable, marketable, whatever it is that you are believing about yourself. You will project onto others what you feel deep within and turn away people who only see your light, not the darkness you perceive that you hold.

If you are carrying wounds that are this deep, you will either consciously or unconsciously sabotage everything you say you want in order to seemingly “protect” yourself, but what you are really doing is playing small. You are denying yourself happiness, love, all of the ooey gooey stuff that comes when you are living the life of your dreams and freedom from your past. You are essentially still living in your past, if you are self sabotaging. So while you may think you have outrun the devil, it’s actually sitting on your shoulder, every time you deny yourself what it is you want.

We are all a work in progress. No matter how much work we do on ourselves, there is always more to uncover. There is no such thing as someone who is better than us, more advanced, more spiritual, more anything. We are all just people living our lives, trying to do what’s right and maybe if we are more open instead of closed, we will see that under the need to sabotage things, there is really a yearning for freedom from all of our old wounds.

If your heart calls you to do something, then listen. Your ego has kept you small for too long. It’s time to shine and receive all of the gifts that life is trying to offer you.

Doors

They say that when one door closes, another one opens. But what do they say of doors that don’t open?

I say that doors that do not open for you, are doors that are not meant to be walked through. This is a hard lesson to learn, but one that is paramount to healing.

While we might try our best to open a door that we have our heart set on, pound on it, maybe even try to pry that sucker open, it still won’t budge. So we take out the dynamite and alas, the door opens, but not without conditions. And trust me, those conditions will beat you down so badly, you won’t even recognize yourself anymore.

Many doors have been closed to me with acting, opportunities in general and people. Often times when a door did not open for me, I would sit back and re-evaluate and think about another way to open it. Perhaps if I came at it from this angle, or tried a little harder, tried a little less, but when you have a burning desire or a dream, it is very hard to walk away from that door.

But eventually you have to. You realize that no amount of pushing on that door is going to open it and the more you think about that door, the weaker you get. You’re diminished. Spent. And so, you are forced to surrender in order to survive because your heart can’t handle any more disappointment. And in this space of surrender, you empower yourself to walk away from that door.

Because I have done this, I understand that when doors are not opening for me, they simply aren’t my doors. If you can grasp this one concept, you will save yourself a whole lot of pain.

The doors that are meant for you are seamless. All you have to do is simply walk towards that door, knock and it opens. From that door comes another and then another still. Eventually doors appear out of nowhere and you don’t even have to knock anymore.

A closed door is simply a sign that you are headed in the wrong direction. Whatever is behind that door is not for you and in fact could be very toxic. You will live to regret it if you insist on Barging your way through it. This is divine protection, not rejection and once you understand this, you will empower yourself enough to quickly walk away from the doors that aren’t opening and run towards the ones that are.

Leap of Faith

an act of believing in or attempting something whose existence or outcome cannot be proved.

Every now and then life calls for you to take a leap of faith. Some of us will decide to stay on the cliff looking over it, while a few of us will jump at full force without a parachute, hoping it will work out.

Sometimes we wind up with gravel in our face. We are literally spitting tiny rocks out of our mouth and wiping our knees off. But we don’t die! That is the most important thing to remember here.

When you have an opportunity that will change your life come across your path, you either take a leap of faith and embrace it or you don’t. You are either giving it all you’ve got, no holds bar and no regrets or you are choosing to let it pass you by, as you sit on one of those mountains called, “What If” “I Should Have” “I Could Have” and ” I Would Have” if only…

I jump a lot! My middle son literally jumps out of planes. He asked me to go with him when I was in Florida last month. I said yes, but then my brother in-law said something about people relying on him too much and if something were to happen to him he didn’t think it best that he went. So, his words of advice and yadda yadda and I didn’t go. Not then anyway.

I have taken leaps of faith thought…many times. I’ve fallen in the gravel a few. I have no regrets because at least I jumped. Sometimes there is no safety net to catch us, but we understand this when we go all gusto on something we believe in. We are willing to fall because we know that standing on the cliff thinking about a life out there isn’t getting us any closer to it.

We have to be willing to fail. Or at least that is what most people would call it when things don’t work out. But I see failure as an opportunity to do it better next time. It is the trust and faith in ourselves that matters. We can do whatever it is we want to do, and now that we know that one way didn’t work, we can try another one.

When I created my first decks I made many mistakes. I didn’t know this when I was going through the process, but when I got the cards I realized they weren’t what I had envisioned. It didn’t stop me though. I created new cards, better ones. I learned through trial and error what worked and what didn’t. I’m still learning. I will always be learning.

You gotta have faith in your ideas, your visions. It does not matter what anyone else thinks of them. In fact, I would go so far as to tell you not to tell anyone until you have already initiated it.

People who don’t dream, don’t understand dreamers. And people who dream, don’t understand people who don’t.

Dare to dream! Take a leap of faith. If you jump and land in the gravel, dust yourself off, learn from it and create anew. That’s the worst that can happen. You know what the best is? Success! Have faith in yourself. I do!

We are all Fireworks Just waiting for the right thing to ignite us

So today I am celebrating. Apparently I have 30 sales on Etsy for the cards I created. I didn’t know this. I get an order, fill it and send it on its way, but Etsy knew!

I am so freaking excited about this because I do not advertise and I opened my shop in late August. I do have other platforms where I sell my cards, but Etsy was the first place I started.

I am beyond elated when I get an order. It really is like Christmas! I look at the order, the name of the person who has bought them and then go to my make shift shop and put it all together.

I take great pride in putting the orders together, just as I took great pride in making the cards themselves.

I have ordered things before and felt awful when I got the package. My goal was to create an experience for anyone who orders my cards and I have fulfilled that goal and I am very proud of it.

If you look at my reviews you will see that I have conveyed this message very well. It is apparent that I do not sell cards simply for profit, I sell them so people can feel good about their purchase.

The idea for cards came to me out of the blue. I got a deck I ordered on line and was completely disappointed with my purchase. There was no care or concern given to the item or the packaging itself and I felt cheated. I was clearly just another order and I felt that.

No one wants to feel like they have been cheated when they have paid money for something. We want to feel like we have spent our money well. Like our purchase mattered somehow and that the person who sold us that product actually cared.

This caring we long to feel comes from someone doing something not out of what they stand to gain, but out of what they stand to lose. For me its simple. I don’t want anyone to feel like they were cheated. I want them to feel special about their purchase, which is why I take such great care in packaging the cards.

I am writing this blog for anyone who has ever thought of doing their own thing and has been afraid that what they have to offer won’t be enough. You need to know that you are more than enough and what you have to offer has never been offered before, because it comes from you.

We are all fireworks, we just need to ignite our passions and then take steps towards our dreams.

Follow me on Instagram for daily readings! @thechefstableoracle and @shoptalktarot

All of my decks are available on Etsy at https://www.etsy.com/shop/EightySixedIt?ref=seller-platform-mcnav

I really am enjoying this process and look forward to creating more decks!

Steps

I wanted to write about steps and how taking just one, can change your entire world.

Two summers ago my youngest son was rowing and beginning to work out regularly. He took to the weights and regimen like a fish to water. His body took to them as well. Within a short time he completely transformed his frame of 140 with little muscles to 180 with huge Popeye ones, and this is when my oldest son told him that rowing was a waste of his talent and time and that he should be playing football instead.

In life, all it takes is one person to see a bigger vision for you than you are capable of, and your entire world can change. This person, or maybe if you’re lucky, a few more, believes in you and your ability so strongly, that you inevitably start to believe too.

With these words, spoken by his big brother, the football journey began. Most people would not even ponder the idea of taking this first step (especially with no prior experience), let alone the ones he did.

The only playing of the sport he had ever done was in the front yard and maybe tossing it at school once in awhile at recess. Still, he committed to the path and took that first step of going out for the team in the 9th grade. You can imagine how other kids viewed him and were so quick to put him down. Our town is mean, rather the people are, and I am looking forward to moving, but that’s another blog.

We went to all of his games and watched his team be beaten down at every one. They literally had 5 plays and the same 5 kids they put in for every position. He managed to get in a few times but it was futile and he felt defeated in all aspects of the sport.

If this path were to continue, further steps needed to be taken. So…I went on Max Preps and researched schools. This is what I do! I’m a dreamer, but more than that, I am a person who takes steps towards those dreams, else they are merely fantasies.

I found so many schools in Texas and South Carolina, but none in New York. I began to ponder the idea of boarding school for him but the schools looked scary that were rated high for football and he is my baby, so that wasn’t going to happen. I actually started to look at properties in Texas and South Carolina, but as I did more research, I found a school in New Jersey he could commute to.

I ticked that box and went on line to the school website. It was overwhelming. An essay, an interview, testing to get in and of course, a private tuition. Did I mention it was all boys and religious?

He didn’t care! So I wrote letters, called, called again. Wrote more letters until someone wrote me back and found out I had made the deadline to apply for the next year. He did everything they asked of him, including an essay about football and Jesus and we waited and waited for a letter to arrive.

When it finally did, he hesitated, knowing this letter would determine next steps. They would either lead to the doorway of this school and its interview process or back to the school he was currently at until we could come up with another path because giving up on his dream was not an option.

Luck was on his side. Or fate, I’m not sure. Every now and then people deserve a break and he got one. He was invited in for the next step in the process.

We took the train together that day knowing what was at stake. The only other option was to move and my middle son was still at home in his senior year. It was overwhelming and I couldn’t allow myself to think about it. He not only had to do well on his interviews, he had to test well to gain one of the 12 spots that were open. Over 300 kids had applied that year (record numbers I was told), because another religious school had closed.

We were there for hours. I heard the morning prayer, stood for the pledge of allegiance, saw students come and go in their uniforms and watched him walk by a few times from office to office. He was in a suit but quickly lost the tie around hour two.

When he finally finished around noon, we took the many steps back to the Path train and began our way back home. He talked about his interviews, feeling as though he had blown one and then didn’t say much on the Long Island Rail Road (the other part of our commute).

It was tough. I could see how bad he wanted this. Sometimes we want something so bad and we don’t do anything about it, but this kid was doing everything he could.

Within two weeks he received another letter. He was at school and my middle son was home. He convinced me to open it, just in case. So we did. We both screamed with joy when we read that he had been accepted. I texted him with a photo of the welcome letter and he screamed with joy when he got it. I know this, because he told me hugged the kid he was walking with he was so happy.

None of us had any idea what it actually meant though. At the time the football team at this particular school was number 1 in the state. I think they rank high in all their sports, and there are over 18 of them. The 5 plays he learned at his old school were replaced by the over 100 at his new one. Yes, 100! It was like learning a new language, but one he committed to by writing them on index cards that he studied every chance he could. To be number 1 in anything means you have to commit and his team takes commitment very seriously.

And so does he! This is why it’s the perfect place for him. He has never once complained about the workouts, the practices, the schoolwork or the commute. And while he is not commuting at present, he still commits to the workouts at the gym he uses here. He also works out with a football trainer in New Jersey every weekend, who is as inspiring as they come.

The progress he has made is astonishing! He has learned the footwork, the ball handling and the speed. But there is always another step to take. A different diet, heavier weights, faster footwork, turning a leg this way, a hand over here, his body forward. I hear him as he watches the video recording of himself from practice.

Footwork is so important in football. Good footwork gives a player agility and reduces injury. It is essentially the same reason why we take steps in life or don’t.

The steps we take determine our outcome. And while some people are so afraid of failing or being hurt that they do not take any steps towards what they want, they actually fail to realize they have already been defeated.

Whatever you want, is merely a step away. So the question remains…which direction are you heading in or are you even moving at all?

Travel

images

Travel is the movement of people between distant geographical locations. Travel can be done by foot, bicycle, automobile, train, boat, bus, airplane, ship or other means, with or without luggage, and can be one way or round trip.

Last year I took an acting class that was truly amazing! I rarely say that about classes, but this one went above and beyond. I stepped so far out of my comfort zone I felt like I wasn’t myself. But I was. The me that resides deep down inside, just waiting to be invited to emerge.

The teacher played songs and we had to move to the music in front of everyone, while they had to imitate our movements the best that they could as we did so. I got this song to move to: Leaving on a Jet Plane

I was so incredibly hesitant to do the exercise, as I am sure everyone was, but the minute he played the song for me, I simply resigned to the music. It was transformational. When I looked into fellow actors eyes and saw them connecting with me through the music and the dance, we all traveled to wherever we were personally in our minds. Their smiles, their tears, their joy, their pain, however they interpreted the piece to them. I saw it all that day.

But I felt joyous. As I danced around the room I put my arms out to my side like I was a jet plane and went around in the circle so fast, I thought I might lift off. I traveled to so many places in that moment, I think I spanned the world.

Traveling doesn’t always entail leaving the country or going from state to state. All we need to do is put on some music, even this song and let ourselves fly.

We need to only close our eyes to travel distances within our imagination. To allow ourselves a moment to reminisce, to dream, to flow. Our minds can take us anywhere.

Traveling without luggage…I’m circling the living room as I write this.

How willing are you to travel the distance? Even if it’s only in your mind?