Sweet Dreams Can Only Come When You’re sleeping

I don’t know when your day starts, but mine does around 5am. I feel like I live on a farm! I always said I wanted to have a farm with dogs I adopted because there is a lot of space there, but in a house it’s a bit much.

I currently have a resident who came from Mississippi. A dumpster dog as he is so lovingly called. I think it’s a horrible term and probably has something to do with his personality. He eats cans, bricks, stones, plastic, whatever he can get his teeth on. Yesterday he ate a book cover. I guess he didn’t like me reading The 48 Laws of Power. Perhaps he thought the intel would not bode well for him.

He is my oldest son’s dog and since I talked my oldest into staying for the summer instead of going back to UConn, Beau stays with him. Actually Beau stays with me most of the time because we all know that a kid having a dog generally means the parent watches it.

This charmer has a thing with ambulances. The town I live in loves an ambulance! Beau either hates them or is calling to them because he howls at the top of his lungs at them. My other dog, Archie, a ridiculously anxiety-ridden dog will bark too when he howls. The cat, Milo simply looks at the two of them like they are mental because cats are superior and Milo is superior to everyone.

I wake at 5 because I go to bed at 8:30. I’m not usually asleep, I just shut the door to my bedroom and sprawl across my king size bed, grateful for the alone time. Actually I’m not alone. The two dogs and cat seem to be grateful for the respite as well.

Yesterday, as I lie there, unwinding from cooking meals and doing laundry for three kids and cleaning a house because my oldest is having his girlfriend this weekend, there was a knock on my door. It was my oldest holding his computer.

“Hey, Mom! Do you think you can listen to my podcast?” “I would love to!” I love it when he shares his work with me. It’s very good and I tell him so. “I’m going to go out with some friends for a bit. Love you! Sleep well!” He says, and shuts my door.

Sleep! Glorious sleep. I had forgotten why I came in here. I turn off my light and I hear a knock on the door. “Come on in!” I say. It’s my youngest.

“Mom, Can I talk to you about something?” “Of course!” He talked to me about football (which I know nothing about) but wanted to show me a kid who transferred schools and was all pro now. This is something he talks about doing. I’m on board. I’ve got less than two years with him and if my baby wants me to move to the moon, I will, just so he can have an opportunity to obtain his dream. He left feeling confident, so I turned out my light again.

They say the third time is a charm. Low and behold! The charm arrived via my middle son.

“Hey, Ma! Do you know the passcode for Netflix?” I hate passcodes! When did our world become so complicated? I didn’t know the passcode, but he stayed for a bit and we chatted about relationships. Why people settle; his theory on that then mine. He taught me a few phrases in Mandarin which I have since forgotten, asked if he could order some food and said, “Xiexie mama,” then, “Why are you in bed so early?”

Early? Because I get up at the crack of dawn! I walk for 45 minutes while the rest of the world sleeps, I clean a cat box, walk two dogs, feed them all, feed the birds, clean up messes left in the kitchen from the night prior, pack orders for my company, make a five course meal for my youngest before he heads to Jersey City for the day, write a blog, make Instagram posts, read emails and do any auditions I have been sent. I also went back to working in a salon on Fridays so I spend a but of time watching videos on the latest color techniques, all before my little darlings rise from their peaceful slumber.

It’s not easy being a mom but my children are my first priority. Because of this commitment, I have made choices that do not benefit me in the least, but my relationship with them is of the unconditional kind, so I forego a lot of me time for them time.

My kids have big dreams, but so do I. I would not be able to support them the way that I do if I didn’t understand their drive. This inner knowing of what is best for you and what is not is something I have always tried to instill in them. Sometimes we make choices that we know aren’t going to serve us in the long run, so we have to be brave enough to make different ones, even when others might disagree.

Life is always changing and if you aren’t willing to change with it, your chances of being a success are slim to none. Change can be overwhelming for people, but in this house, change is the name of the game. It can be exhausting and frankly, just too much at times, but when you have lofty goals, there’s no such thing as sitting idle.

So when the end of the day comes, it’s all I want to do! I’ve earned it. I slip away down the hall and climb into my big bed with big thread count sheets and breathe a sigh of relief. Until there is a knock on the door and Lucy is back at her station, doling out advice and giving pep talks.

And to be honest, I love every minute of it.

Expressing What Matters

Do you ever wonder how someone learned to talk the way they talk? I mean really wonder, wonder, wonder who taught them how to talk like that?

There are people who speak their minds and don’t care who they offend. They say what they feel and have opinions that may not be popular, but they could care less. They speak their truth all the time and aren’t some chameleon who changes their colors depending on who they are conversing with.

How about people who are so unconscious, they say whatever comes to mind, even offensive things, because they are completely clueless and lack empathy.

Then there are people who say mean things to others when no one else is around because it makes them feel good to belittle someone else. In truth, they feel so incredibly small and if you have ever met someone like this, they will be your greatest lesson in how much you value yourself.

Then there are people who don’t say anything at all! They just observe. They may even see an injustice, like someone being harmed by another emotionally or physically and watch it all go down, unwilling to step in and do anything about it.

We may learn to not express ourselves by our parents when we are younger, but at some point there has to be an accountability factor and you need to put on your big girl/boy pants and stop running this outdated program.

People who express themselves aren’t afraid of what others think; it is the one factor that makes them authentically and unapologetically confident with who they are. A person who speaks their truth and expresses themselves all the time is a powerful one. Someone who lives in fear of what others think is the exact opposite.

I didn’t grow up talking like this. I learned how to. Life was my biggest teacher. All the times I didn’t express myself, others were keen to express my opinions for me, and well, that didn’t bode too well for me. I was in a prison of own making, much like anyone else who is too afraid to speak up for fear of rejection.

I am perfectly content speaking my truth now and while I discern between who is worthy of my pearls and who is not, my thoughts here are yours to read, in hopes that you may find your voice and lay to rest anything and anyone that has tried to stifle you.

Express yourself and in all matters of life you will be free, no matter your circumstance.

Truth

To me, there is nothing more important than the truth. I guess this comes from a history of people lying to me.

I don’t believe in games. More aptly, games where other people are involved. Life is a precious gift and one we should never take for granted. To think that we have an endless amount of time to finally fess up to how we truly feel or confess our misgivings serves no one, especially those we continue to lie to.

I try very hard to speak my truth. I do it here. Some people may get offended by my directness or how I express myself but I don’t care. I’m just being me. I don’t pretend anything, I don’t play small and I certainly don’t lie. Unless I am being paid to play a part, then all of that is off the table.

A lot of people cannot handle the truth and don’t know what to do with authenticity. Some will even do anything to avoid it. If you come across someone like that and try to express your truth to them, they might refuse to hear it. There is noting more frustrating, but when you experience this, you realize it is a them thing and certainly not a you one and you refuse to alter who you are to appease the broken part of them they refuse to heal.

Our truth is simply our truth and there is nothing more powerful than speaking it. We cannot be afraid of who we are or what we want or how we wish to express it. If someone cannot handle our truth, then they are simply not the person for us.

If you are like me and have done a ton of work on yourself, then you don’t have time for someone who wavers with their truth. You may feel greatly for them, but you realize that they are too afraid of the truth and would rather continue living a lie and you simply will not abide by that.

There is such freedom when you stop keeping the peace to appease others and start honoring yourself instead. In this space of absolute acceptance of everything that is, you honor others for where they are too and hold absolutely no contempt.

Truth. There is nothing more freeing or beautiful. Love yourself enough to speak it.

Waiting Game

Most of our lives we are waiting. We stand in lines to buy tickets, for the subway, for our coffee, appointments and the most frustrating thing we wait for, is people.

I wait a lot. I mean, A LOT! I wait for auditions, I wait for callbacks, I wait for the bookings. Often times I get put on hold and then I am waiting still. Does the client want me or someone else? Do they go in another direction all together? Does the project get scrapped? I have no idea what they think about, I only know I am left waiting.

In the past I would reach out to an agent and ask, “Have you heard anything? What are they waiting on?” Usually they didn’t know, but I thought it showed I had interest in the project, so that’s why I called in the first place. If it was a project I really wanted, then I might call a few times, but if I didn’t hear anything back I assumed they went in another direction and I didn’t call again. There’s only so much calling you can do! After awhile you get the picture and you don’t need someone to spell it out for you.

Due to my history with wanting things to happen and being impatient with the process, I have gotten exceptionally good at waiting. One might even say I am resolute. I have a vision of what I want, have had dreams about it, see signs everywhere that pertain to it and feel it deep within my soul that it is meant for me, so I trust that it will come. I have actually never been more certain of anything I want in my life. I’ve done the work, cleared my path of anything standing in the way and now all I have to do is wait for it to come to me. I trust in my inner knowing so I feel no need to stress.

Waiting has gotten me thinking about love. Why must people wait for love? I know a few people who are so tired of waiting for love. They just want it already! They know what they want in a partner and are ready to share their life with someone who is their equal. And while they do meet some okay people, they tend to meet more people who withhold love. I don’t understand this at all.

If love is staring you in the face, why would you wait any longer for it? Why would you push it away? I mean, love is amazing! Is it being vulnerable? Fear? It’s like the minute people find what they have been seeking all along, they shut the treasure box and run in the opposite direction. Their ego takes them on a journey to try and find bigger and better bounty, and only get lost at sea.

We wait so much for everything else in life, why wait for love. There isn’t a need for it. It’s futile and ridiculous. Love is love and when you have it you don’t wait for it, you pounce.

Aren’t we all a little tired of waiting at this point? I mean, we waited for the bans to be lifted, a vaccine, the world to go back to normal. And still, here we are…waiting.

I don’t know about you, but I find the whole waiting thing a but tiresome, but my job does require me to wait quite a bit. So I’m here day after day waiting for my phone to ring, to get an email or text, because reaching out has not faired well for me in the past and I have learned not to chase. And in the waiting, what is meant for me always finds me and this is what is called living in the present.

What are YOU waiting on? And more importantly, is it worth it?

Let Your Voice Carry

We can all struggle with finding our voice from time to time, especially if we are around people who do not care about our feelings.

Our wounded selves will take what they say personally. We are conditioned to hearing what upsets us most, just as we are to seeing it. If we have not healed parts of ourselves from the past, then we will attract these people and situations over and over again, until we do.

We will even sit there and be an audience to someone we don’t even like, as they pop off about this or that or say underhanded comments to us. We might even feel as though we don’t have a voice, because we certainly can’t seem to find it in these awful situations.

Occasionally we might. We feel proud of ourselves, but then the whammy comes. We might hear: “You’re so difficult and unreasonable” or “I can’t do anything to please you” in return. People who make us feel like we’re difficult for having an opinion or a separate voice are afraid we will use it and will do anything and say anything to shut us down.

Our wounded kid obliges in these situations because it is conditioned to do so. We might even feel bad for saying anything at all. And might apologize for rocking the boat. But sometimes somebody’s boat needs to be rocked; it doesn’t have to always be ours.

Most of the time when we are dealing with someone who is passive aggressive or just plain aggressive, it’s very empowering to say noting. People who operate at such a childish level unravel at a very rapid pace. They get off on our engagement with them almost as much as our being nice to them. Talk about a wounded child!

We can blame people all we want for our feelings of ill will, sadness and anger, but at some point, if we want to move past all of that, we have to work on ourselves. The fact that someone like that might be in our life, is a clear indicator that we have some work to do. We have to give a nod to the little kid inside us that is dying to be heard, to be healed.

The next time you are around someone who brings out the absolute dread in you, ask yourself this: “Is this a them problem or a me one?” “Are they showing me how much I am not loving myself?” “Are they showing me just how much garbage I accept?” And when you have answered yes to all of those questions, you can answer: “I am worthy of so much more!”

Being in love with yourself and feeling empowered by who you are and unapologetic about it, means you don’t have to be the Queen of Swords who cuts everyone off at the head if someone says something you don’t like. It means you learn to discern between who is worthy of a comment and who is not.

As a matter of fact, if we are fully accepting of who we are, when someone starts saying things that are off the charts inappropriate, we will laugh to ourselves instead of getting upset, get up and leave the room or not even hear them at all. We will have changed our energy, our vibration, and we will no longer attract people like this at all.

Your voice deserves to be heard. Carry on! Even if it sounds like Beaux’s. (My oldest son’s dog)

Nobody is going to tell you how to say what you need to say

As an actor, I work well with a script. Wouldn’t it be nice in life if we all got one? I mean, imagine how great a conversation would go when you knew you needed to talk to someone and they got the script ahead of time. Pauses would be built in the script, along with places that said, Cries, Laughs, Yells. You would even say the location of where it’s happening.

This way when we see someone and we have something to say, we would just look at them and say, “Just so we’re clear, we are meeting in my living room, you are sitting in the green chair and we are reading from the Script for Effective Communication. I’m starting on Page Two, Line 14 and you sit and listen to me until your part, which is on Page 25.”

But we don’t get scripts! We get nada. Except of course the ones in our heads.

Have you ever gone over what you were going to say to someone in your head and it went perfectly fine? It was like a top notch performance. You got things off your chest, you felt great and you imagined the person you were talking to hearing everything you said and agreeing.

But then in the real world, not the script one, when you actually had the conversation or at least tried to, noting came out. Or if anything managed to eek its way out it was something about the weather or shoes. You didn’t even touch base on that Academy Award winning speech you gave in your head! And of course the minute you leave, it all comes back to you.

I like acting for many reasons. One of them is the script. It’s pretty logical. There is no guess work with what they want you to say. The problems is…how do you say it?

Do you have any idea how many ways you can say, “Robert, is that you?” Go ahead, try it!

Casting Directors don’t tell you how to say things, they expect you to know. But am I putting the emphasis on ROBERT or on YOU? Am I sounding like a question after Robert? Or waiting till the end after you? I mean, there are so many ways to say that one stinking line!

You can understand now why I might fudge an audition from time to time. I call it burning the potatoes. You have the recipe, you know how to make them and yet the simplest dish can be ruined if you get caught up with the whole idea of making them.

By the way, I said the line with the emphasis on you and then I had to pretend I was killed. THAT was a whole other thing and I’m sure I probably screwed that up.

Have fun whatever you are doing and don’t think too much about how to say what you have to say or how to say it. We’re all learning. Nobody’s perfect and unless you’re auditioning for a television show, it just doesn’t matter. What matters is that you speak your truth.

Wanna Know?

Sabrina Claudio has a lovely voice, but do you wanna know what I think is even far more beautiful? People who speak their truth.

The world is in desperate need of more Love, Compassion, Integrity and Voices right now. The latter being those who aren’t afraid to stand up for what they believe in, no matter what is going on around them or what others will think.

I love hearing the voices of people who are passionate about something, no matter what it is.

I am completely passionate about animals. All kinds! I worked for years (for free) helping to find abandoned animals new homes. Sometimes they found mine and ended up staying. My family is very good about this work I feel called to do and they have always assisted me in the process.

When I see someone being mean to an animal you know what I wanna do? I wanna say something to them, so I usually do. I have done this in the past and it didn’t bode well for the animal. The man I spoke with grabbed his dog by the neck even harder and I felt completely powerless.

But it has never stopped me. I’ve always said I will probably die helping animals. My voice will reach the ears of someone who refuses to hear what I have to say and they will shoot me. But it’s a risk I take because I refuse to sit back and not use the most powerful tool I have. My voice.

What do you use your voice for? Is it to spread lies or is it to spread love? Are you willing to have your voice heard, even when others may not agree?

No matter how squeaky, how obnoxious, loud or soft, your voice is needed more than ever now. And quite honestly, the world would love to hear it!

Saying Nothing Says a Whole Lot

No one can deny this is a beautiful song. But the meaning behind it is rather tragic.

Waiting for someone to tell you how they feel after you have already tried to convey your feelings to them and them not saying anything in return, says more than some of us can handle.

The words we long to hear don’t come, so we imagine the worst and stop giving to someone who is not receiving, and we walk away. Words can be weapons or they can be beautiful, but when we don’t speak them at all, it leaves others to wonder how we feel. And of course, we always imagine the worst.

Why is it so hard for some people to express themselves? Were they shot down as a child every time they did? Were they raised in a house like my grandmother, where they were told, “Children should be seen and not heard?” Perhaps every time they did try to convey their feelings they were laughed at or told it was wrong.

It doesn’t matter. None of that really matters. What does matter is how not expressing yourself and what you really feel just keeps perpetuating your past and denying you of love and authentic relationships.

It can be hard to express ourselves. I work very hard on this with my children. Sometimes we have arguments and they express themselves very well. It’s the apology that has a harder time coming, but it does. Eventually it does.

I have taught them to express themselves their entire lives and I have also taught them that it is equally important to acknowledge when you have said things that are hurtful or done something that made someone angry. I practice what I preach and there have been many times where I have had to apologize to them. We are very honest with one another and share a mutual respect.

This love, honesty and respect can be had in any relationship, but it does require saying something. You can always start with I’m sorry, How are you, I was just thinking about you, or Can we talk. They all work.

An authentic relationship will require you to be vulnerable. Are you ready to say something or do you want to keep having ones that are superficial?