Thursday, February 28, 2008

Merry-go-round


"To love means to open ourselves to the negative as well as the positive - to grief, sorrow, and disappointment as well as to joy, fulfillment, and an intensity of consciousness we did not know was possible before." -- Rollo May

Life is a short path that leads down many roads, alleys, avenues, sidewalks, but sometimes it feels like a merry-go-round, around, and around we go, without ever getting off to walk the road. Sometimes I feel as though I am the only one on this merry-go-round, but the more I open my eyes and step outside my own universe I realize that many people feel this way. They are trying to navigate a new journey in life, overcome artistic angst, trying to unravel the questions to happiness, love, the meaning of life, work, money, family. The theme is the common thread that ties us together as human beings. Not one of us perfect, yet we are all striving to find the peace within ourselves that makes this merry-go-round meaningful and have purpose.
I remember the days when getting on that merry-go-round was exciting and thrilling; up and down, round and round, screaming I want to do it again! However, after years of the same old thing, it becomes monotonous, a queasy feeling overcomes, and eventually it all comes up. I used to think that it was better to hold it all in than to let myself throw up, because throwing up is messy and requires a bucket, a hair tie, a mop and air-freshener. I am finally throwing up all over myself and it is coming out, with vengeance. I am beginning to let go, allow my life to get messy for a while and not except to have all the answers right now. I trying to not compare or measure my life along side anyone else or strive to be or have something that I can never reach. How do we measure our lives anyway? By how much money we have, how many friends we have, how happy we are, what we have accomplished, how smart we are, how creative we are, how well we live? Should we measure our lives at all? Maybe it is a hell of a lot simpler to do the best we can, not stress over the small stuff and not think about shit too much. I know when I think too much, I get straight back on that merry-go-round and always end up in the same place, going around in circles. I am not saying we should not think, because that is what makes us human, but I mean get out in the world, experience things, try new things and make decisions based on what feels good, what feels right.
I continually hear messages all around me such as, live in the moment, love what you do, do what you love, follow your heart, do what you are passionate about, fall and grow your wings on the way down, follow your own path, but what if these things are easier said than done? What if your path is already laid out and you can’t stop walking that road because you have responsibilities and even if you want to get off the road for awhile, sit on a rock and ponder the universe, try something new, or take a different road, you can’t, because you made decisions earlier in life that affect everything decision and every move you now make?
These ideas sound lovely, romantic, beautiful, hopeful and all the rest, but maybe easier said than done? It doesn’t mean we should give up. Never give up. As hard as it all may seem, never, ever stop dreaming or believing what you believe. What is true for you, is true for you and no one can ever take that away.
Each day is different and with each dawn a new question, a new problem, a new idea, an old idea that has been floating around for a while, new quests, old sorrows, new sorrows, new joy!
I may not always practice what I preach, but I sure know what I want to preach. Love life, live life as if it your last, live for yourself, follow your own path and be free, always.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Express Yourself

This is my first attempt at making one of these...This is for Madison, and all souls who dare to be different, real, honest and beautiful.

video

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

A Gradual Awakening





I have been flapping my wings hard these days, but since I am still learning how to use them, they are bumping into everything, mainly myself. In the grand scheme of things, life is fantastic, but sometimes I hit bumps in the road, some bigger than others. I’ve been rolling over these bumps lately, bumps like, self doubt and guilt. Doubt that I can’t accomplish my goals, because I am not good enough, or afraid to try because I might fail. The other bump is guilt…that little devil of a word. Guilt - that when I dream, I dream of big things, but when I open my eyes, I am still standing in the same dam place. Guilt – guilt that I have everything I need, but not what I want, guilt that what I want is selfish, guilt that I am not doing enough to help the world, and guilt that I feel guilty.



On the outside, people may see me and think; what does she have to complain about? She drives a nice car, has a nice place to live, all the standard middle class values, but on the inside I want to scream! Why should I care what anyone thinks? The only person, who should admire me, is ME. Maybe I’ve neglected myself for so long and for the first time in my life I have to stand alone and figure it out. I am trying to discover what I want, who I am, and what I want to become, which is a difficult process because I have never thought about it that much before. It’s kind of like waking up in the morning and I am Alice in Wonderland, and the caterpillar is staring at me asking, “Who are you? My reply at this very moment is just as Alice said, “I hardly know sir, just at present - at least I knew who I was when I got up this morning, but I think I must have changed several times since then.”



I thought I could be the perfect mother, with the perfect child, with the perfect picket fence, the perfect white dress, you know……… the movie you see with the perfect family…..but that’s not how it turned out…….. I am not those things. I am not perfect. I am not superhuman. My daughter is an eccentric, which I wouldn’t change for the world, but also makes it difficult, because I constantly feel like people judge me for her behavior and her wicked sense of humor.

The other night my daughter watched Edward Scissor Hands and I could tell she related so strongly to him that she began to cry because she saw a little of herself in him. She had empathy for him, because he is different – Here was this little town, where everyone was the same, same houses, same cars, the woman at home dressed the same, the men mowing the lawn and this strange guy with scissors on his hands, and a heart of gold. I could see she related with Edward and understood him completely. She said to me, “Mom, I like Edward, because I am different also. “ I tried so hard not to cry, I told her that Edward is amazing, and even though he is different and misunderstood, he represents a peace and innocence in this strange world, and even though he may appear strange on the outside, he is perfectly amazing on the inside! I admire her strength to realize that being different is fine and great, maybe I should listen to her words of wisdom and not be afraid of what others think.



I admire people who can go out into the world and not be sorry for who they are, or what they want, they wake up in the morning and go for it……even when times are tough and there are a million reasons not to get out of bed. I am working through a great deal of change at the moment, but I know I am wrapped in a blanket of love, compassion and healthy advice from my friends and that makes me feel safe to share, be open and honest and it also makes me the luckiest gal in the world.



I just flipped open a little book and it landed on this passage: “To be alive is the biggest fear humans have. Death is not the biggest fear we have; our biggest fear is taking the risk to be alive – the risk to be alive and express what we really are. Just being ourselves is the biggest fear of humans. We have learned to live our lives trying to satisfy other people’s demands. We have learned to live by other people’s points of view because of the fear of not being accepted and of not being good enough for someone else. Trying to be good enough for them, we create an image of perfection, but we do not fit this image. We create this image, but this image is not real. We are never going to be perfect from this point of view. Never!” The Four Agreements.


Despite my moment of weakness, self-doubt and guilt, I embrace it all, for I know I am alive, awake, imperfect, always learning, improving, and growing my wings every day. But, most importantly I know that if I fall or crash, I have the most wonderful safety net to catch and love me.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Shadow Boxing



I was going to post something completely different today, something completely dark and desperate, but now, I have decided to erase all of it and say this, I love my friends and love my tribe, I feel understood and that’s what matters in this moment. I am glad to be speaking English..........finally, I am not so good at speaking Chinese, even though I gave it my best shot….……that’s it. Full stop.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Friends




"A friend is someone who knows the song in your heart, and can sing it back to you when you have forgotten the words."

I had the girlies over tonight to shower my new pad with love and blessings. Mmmm…..what fun! Love my girlies…You know you have great friends when they will stand beside you and hold your hand and encourage you to laugh more, smile more, cry more, be silly more, love more, and live more. Even when we are so wrapped up in our own lives, work, boyfriends, girlfriends, husbands, wives, kids, whatever, great friends will always drop the groceries in the middle of the aisle and risk breaking that bottle of OJ to run to your aide.

My girlies are everything to me. Without these amazing babes in my world, I would only be half of myself. I would be walking around bumping into sharp objects all day long…I have many friends, but only a handful of truly amazing, sensational, steadfast and truly incredible girls and a couple of boyz in my tribe, that I love so much, that my heart would break should anything ever happen to them. These are the kind of friends, who will never judge you, will always forgive you, tell you the truth, even when it hurts and love the heck out of you no matter what.

Tonight was about cheese plates, bread, chocolate covered strawberries, fine wine and not feeling guilty that we will all wake up a few pounds heavier, being silly, listening to one another, sharing stories and laughing so hard that tears roll down your faces. It is in moments like these, that I feel like a teenager again, were life is a big playground and I want to dance, sing and be silly until the sunrises. I had a love-hate relationship with being a teenager, too young to be completely independent, yet old enough to think I could make big decisions and choices for myself. I was completely defiant and feisty as a teenager, always doing the opposite of what my mother and father said. If they said I couldn’t do something, I would do it anyway, just to show I was independent. I guess I haven’t really changed that much. But, as I get older and discover I have a few more wrinkles and I can’t stay out as late as I use to, or sleep in till noon, drink as much, sleep in my clothes, sleep with the curtains open, or not be bothered by the mess in the kitchen the next day – I actually appreciate being an adult. Being a teenager was fun, but age and friendships are like a fine wine, over time they become more flavorful, the colors more mature, and with each sip, it leaves a better taste in your mouth.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Words of Wisdom



“ Love the moment. Flowers grow out of dark moments. Therefore, each moment is vital. It affects the whole. Life is a succession of such moments and to live each, is to succeed.”

I am a true believer in living in the moment. I do not always follow it, for sometimes; I fret about tomorrow and become impatient for tomorrow to become NOW. I lack patience to such an extent; I had a t-shirt made that says “impatient.” I should have one made that says, “Live in the moment.” Living in the moment and embracing it all, even when down and out is a lesson to be learned time-and-time again. For in each moment we are learning, listening, making choices, decisions, smiling, frowning, and most importantly, we are experiencing……... So why do we let some of these moments pass by us unnoticed?


I read a quote written by an 85-year-old woman, she said, “If I had my life to live over, I'd dare to make more mistakes next time. I would relax; I would limber up. I would be sillier than I have been this trip. I would take fewer things seriously. I would take more chances. I would climb more mountains and swim more rivers. I would eat more ice cream and less beans. I would perhaps have more actual troubles, but I would have fewer imaginary ones. You see, I am one of those people who lived sensibly and sanely hour after hour, day after day. Oh, I had my moments, and if I had to do it over again, I would have more of them. In fact, I would try to have nothing else. Just moments, one after the other, instead of living so many years ahead of each day. I have been one of those persons who never goes anywhere without a thermometer, a hot water bottle, a raincoat, and a parachute. If I had it to do over again, I would travel lighter than I have. If I had my life to live over again, I would start barefoot earlier in the spring and stay that way later in the fall. I would go to more dances; I would ride more merry-go-rounds. I would pick more daisies.”


Now this is a woman of my heart! If 85 years doesn’t teach us anything, then I don’t know what will!

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Hummingbird Girl





Several months ago, I saw a painting, Hummingbird Girl, created by a wonderful artist, Swirly. http://swirlygirl.typepad.com/ When I first saw this sensational painting, I made an instant connection with it. I had to have it. It represented ME, at that very moment in my life, ready to grow my wings and flap them a million miles per-minute.

For many years I believe I was dormant, not because I was inhibited, but maybe because I felt a sense of not knowing where my life should lead if it was entirely my life. Strange to me now, to wonder why I felt this way, however, there was always something in the back of my mind wondering who I really was and who I truly wanted to become. These answers are still not entirely clear to me, but there are things I do know about myself and no matter how hard I try to change them, I cannot, because at the core essence of my being, there are things that define who we are.

As women, I believe that there are moments when we are truly tortured by of our lives…..being a wife, a mother, a CEO, a artist, an entrepreneur, an assistant, a lover, a fighter, a WOMAN, or all of the above, we are thrown into a man’s world, and expected to be superwoman. We are expected to be an amazing cook, matriarch, entertainer, worldly, do the laundry, be successful, be wise and sophisticated, yet be true to ourselves all at the same time. However, sometimes, we need to be vulnerable and feminine and have a good old fashion cry because we just feel like it, or reveal a part of ourselves that maybe we do not want to show. Sometimes others may view this as a weakness in our character or think that we are pansy’s and should just toughen up, and so we don’t reveal this side to ourselves as readily as we might, this is especially true for me.. Women have no worries speaking to a girlfriend about the ’woe is me’, but to others, we may conceal those intimate details that reveal that weaker side to our character. Women have come far in this world, we have fought for woman’s liberation, equal rights, and all that jazz, but have we forgotten who we are along the way? The beauty that we betray is something still to be seen and witnessed in this world, by ourselves especially.

June 2007, was a landmark in my life, whereby many changes and heartache were about to fall upon me, all in one big bang! For months I felt the desire to get out of ‘check’ and just move on, but something within me said, GO, get out of here for awhile, remove yourself from this environment, get out there and fine yourself, explore and make changes if you can. I have always been very stubborn and audacious, but suddenly I found myself in a very uncomfortable situation that I did not know how to get out of it. Therefore, I decided I should head out into the world and take a break, alone, a moment of silence if you will.


I was about to embark on a journey alone, for the first time in my life, as a woman and leave behind the past and attempt to paint my future. My journey alone is the only moment in my life where I have made a decision that was solely for me and me alone. Most of my life, I have made decisions based around other people in my life. I think there are many women who do this. Probably because we are nurturing and our natural instinct, is to please the majority, before ourselves. I am not saying there is anything wrong with making decisions based on others, but sometimes there are critical moments in our lives when we must choose ourselves first, over anyone else and this was mine - To vacate to Fiji and Australia for 22 days – alone. I cannot recommend anything more life changing for any woman going through a brutal situation, whether it is divorce, death, a loss of magnitude, or a life-changing situation. For me, my decision was frightening, scary, lonely, teary, amazing, educational, quiet, sad, happy, eye opening, but most of all, it was my time to experience; life, culture, myself, and human kind with eyes-wide open.


I cannot finish this entry in one evening, however, I want to share with anyone who wants to listen, that a moment of silence within ourselves and the embracing of who we are, no matter what the rest of the world may think, is more important than anything in the entire universe. That truly embracing and excepting who we are, maybe the key to navigating our way through this life and sometimes finding that peace requires sitting on a beach for many days alone……….and not being afraid. For anyone who feels trapped or wants to spread their wings and explore…..just do it. Don’t think about it, just do it……flap your wings a million miles a minute and don’t think about it……..grow wings and flap them as hard as you can, even if you don’t know where they may lead you…I certainly don’t know where my wings are taking me, but I do know that they are my wings and I can fly wherever I want………


Thursday, February 7, 2008

Steer



Feel it falling off like clothing
Taste it rolling on your tongue
See the lights above you glowing
Oh and breathe them deep into your lungs


It was always simple
Not hidden hard
You've been pulling at the strings
Playing puppeteer for kings
And you've had enough


But the search ends here
Where the night is totally clear
And your heart is fierce
So now you finally know
That you control where you go
You can steer


So hold this feeling like a newborn
Oh with freedom surging through your veins
You have opened up a new door
So bring on the wind, fire and the rain


It was always simple
Not hidden hard
You've been played at a game
Called remembering your name
And you stuffed it up


But the search ends here
Where the night is totally clear
And your heart is fierce
So now you finally know
That you control where you go
You can steer


You’ve been listening for answers
But the city screams and all your dreams go unheard
So get out of the box and step into the clear
Now you finally know
you can steer

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Casa De Conley

Casa de Conley
My house warming present to myself. Sweet.......... Cappuccino machine!
Yeah!!!!!!!!!! Makes yummy treats first thing in the morning...
I moved!!!!!
My first night in Casa De Conley!
Yesterday was exhausting, but well worth the efforts. I made it into my new pad!




First nights tell all....slept like a baby, maybe from exhaustion, but probably because this feels like home for awhile. Much more to do, unpack and all that jazz.,...but I feel at peace and happy! Mad loves it, haven't seen her so happy in the morning for sometime. .........so far, so good....Starting to feel like an independant woman.....It's mine........yeah!!!!
When my head is not so cloudy, I will share more...........
I feel like I am living in a ski-lodge......in Santa Monica.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Blurry......



A few weeks ago, my friend wrote a beautiful blog about the relationship between a man and his dog. He also recommended a book. Last night I finished reading it, Merles Door. Never in my life, have I read a book that made me cry so hard, not weep, but a good old fashion hard cry. I barely made it through the last chapter; the pages became so blurry from my salty tears, my heart breaking with each word that I could not continue. A few days ago, I had to put it down next to my bed, because I refused to read on. Every so often, I would look over at my book, and think, 'come on Trisha, you must finish it.' However, for several lonely nights it lay next to me without a page ever being turned. Last night, I decided to be brave, grab a box of tissues, climb into my bed and trudge on through to the end. I imagine the author had a very hard time writing this novel without crying rivers. I am an avid animal lover, just part of my essence, especially dogs. I remember when I was 4 years old, I would walk straight up to a Donavan Pincher, who looked like it had rabies and could probably kill me with one bite and pat his head and lick his face. My mother used to freak out and cry every time she saw me approach one of these animals, but they always licked me back. I think I gave my mother grey hairs way too early in her life, because no matter what kind of animal was in my immediate vicinity, I would always walk straight over to it, try to lick its face, or feed it ice cream. I recently lost the love of my life and my best friend, My Sweet Lucy. After 14 years of the most wonderful companionship a girl could ever have, she passed away from cancer. My tears are fresh and the memory of her still so close to my heart. However, I am also inspired to question something my friend wrote at the end of his beautiful entry and experience with his own love affair with his beautiful friend, Marco. “How can I love unconditionally and how can I change my partners’ life by giving it all?”

This is a fascinating question because for anyone who has ever been in love, knows just how much it hurts when your heart gets broken, whether the source is from the love of your life, or a most beloved pet dying, or the loss of family member or friend. The pain inflicted is unbearably raw, and so physically draining that it can consume every inch of our soul and the affliction is forever present, while for others, they may begin a quest for answers, or a lesson to be learned.



Moments in my life, when I have felt in love, the sensations I feel start something like this; My heart begins to pound faster in my chest, the palms of my hands clam up, endorphins fire up on all cylinders, a rush of adrenaline flows from my head and tickles all the way down to my toes, my mouth begins to twitch due to fact the corners of my lips permanently turned toward the sky and I find myself absent-mindedly twisting my hair with my fingers, the smell of skin becomes intoxicating and my head becomes tipsy with delight, the slightest touch sends bolts of electricity down my spine, the sweetness left on my tongue lingers, the noise of the outside world disappears and the sound of white protrudes until there is no one else left in the room, or giggling in the middle of the street remembering some private moment shared, excited for the next. It may start like that, but it progresses like this; thoughts are easily distracted as I begin to wonder, where are they are at this very moment? What are they doing? Are they happy? Would they like the shirt I am wearing? Are they thinking about me? Do they like sugar in their coffee? Do they prefer tea? Do they like Crest or Colgate? Should I close the door when I pee? Do they eat brown bread or white bread? Do they even like bread at all? As things evolve and intimacy hovers low in the sky, fear sets in, the fear of losing love. I ask myself, is it possible to sustain those moments?……...those feelings?……….this crazy little thing called love?

Why is love such a contradiction? The highs so high and the lows, so low. Yet despite this slanted scale, we will always seek love? Maybe that is why they call it “falling”, because we journey to the top of the mountain and enjoy the view from the top, yet, slowly we begin to fall off the cliff. Some of us grow our wings on the way down; some of us fall from grace. So, can we love unconditionally? I wonder. In a relationship between a man/woman and a dog, I think there can be unconditional love, because a dog will never judge you, let you down, lie to you, pretend to be anything other than who they are. A dog will always be true. They do not hide behind walls, or try to trick you. I am beginning to believe that people, tend think too much. We question ourselves too much, or over think things and negate the pureness of love. If only we could be more like a dog we might learn to interpret love……..with complete and utter pureness. Honestly, I do not know the answer to the question of unconditional love……….. What I do know is this; live each moment with intensity and embrace with open arms these precious little sparkles of joy, for love is fearfully fascinating and exciting.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Who Do You Think You Are?


Today I discovered something magical and rather riveting about my family heritage. All my life I have been told that, I am descendent from Australian, Spanish and English on my mother’s side of the family and, Irish, Scottish on my father’s side.

History tells us that when the Queen of England had ownership of Australia, the residents of England did not want to migrate to an uncharted-foreign place; so in efforts to establish Australia, the Queen decided to send people who committed any kind of crime (as minor as stealing a loaf of bread) to Australia, which was originally established as a penal colony. All my life I thought, my great, great, great relatives were in fact, criminals! However, today I have discovered an important part of my heritage that astounds and amazes me!

I came across this new information because, my cousin is a huge singer, songwriter in Australia and her career and celebrity there are massive. She has been an Australian superstar since she was 16 years old. Recently, Australian television invited her to participate in a new show called, “Who Do You Think You Are?” The show sets out to find out if Kate, my cousin, knows her heritage. Now, my heritage and Kate’s heritage are the same, on my mother’s side. Kate is my mothers, sisters, daughter. I watched the show tonight and I am blown away to discover why most of my family are driven towards the arts. It turns out….it is in our blood….literally….

On both sides of my family there are numerous, musicians or painters. I have always been compelled to paint. I mean it is a compulsion. Just something I could always do. Some of my earliest and fondest memories are of staying with grandmother and painting with her for hours and hours. She would let me use her oil paints, which was a big deal….Since I was only 8 years old and my mother would only let me paint with water colors, because I made such a mess…but my grandmother, she let me have at it with the oil paints. I remember my first serious painting I did at her house; it was a black and white window with light shining through. I wish I knew where that was today. I was always proud of it.

I have always been told that my great, great, great grandfather, (on my grandfathers side) was a Spanish sailor who came to Australia in the 1800’s and committed mutiny. It turns out; he was in fact an Englishman, invited to Australia to teach music and art at a prestigious all girls’ school in Tasmania. He was a famous portrait artist and musician. His portraits actually hang in the Australian Museum. Who would have ever known! I am not a descendent of Spanish sailor, or criminal! In fact, I have no Spanish blood at all……..It is still a mystery to me why I tan so easily…never once have I had a burn….I have always tanned….just naturally go brown…that is strange considering that I am English, Irish and Scottish…..maybe it’s that weird Australian mongrel in me………

His name was Henry Mundy. http://www.balgal.com/?id=mundyhenryportraitof The story of my great, great, great grandfather is not without scandal…as is with most of my family! He fell in love with one of his students, Lavina Lord, my great, great, great grandmother, she was merely 16 years old, he was 20 years her senior. He was fired from the school and had to work full time as a portrait artist, but during the great depression, when work was scarce, he became so depressed, he committed suicide on March 24th, 1848. Sad to think that his angst towards his passion to paint and the arts was overthrown by money problems...really, sad….

I am blown away………this truly amazes me………that our DNA can actually have influence over who we become and what interests we are drawn to in this life……….. blood is thicker than water~