Friday, October 29, 2010

Got Transformation?

I started a seminar last night called, "Living Powerfully: A Life that Defies the Predictable." It's given by Landmark Education Corporation, the folks who do The Forum; a program that transformed my life nearly two decades ago.

I did The Forum in 1992, and have always said next to getting married and having kids, it's the greatest thing I ever did. Of course, that comment may need alteration, but you get my point.

Over the course of the three day program, I was transformed. But what does that really mean? For me it meant experiencing something so profound that it challenged what I knew to be "true" and provided me with freedom to experience life and the people in it in a way I never imagined possible. It completely rocked my world. That's what I mean by "transformation." Put another way, when I went back to work on the Monday after my Forum, everyone seemed kinder, friendlier, more helpful; the trees looked greener, my kids were even more beautiful (didn't think that was possible!). Did everything and everyone change while I was in The Forum? No. What changed was my perception of everything. What changed was my transformation.

Last night (in a group of 225 people) we talked about how life can be predictable, mundane, a fight, boring, stressful, uninspiring, etc. We also talked about what would be possible if life was inspiring, exciting, less stressful, free, and unpredictable. We discussed what would be possible if we weren't run by our circumstances; if we were the cause of our lives. What would life look like if we kept our word and weren't driven only by our wants and desires?

Those are the kinds of things I'm up to right now. Shaking up my world, unleashing my true power, listening powerfully, passionately pursuing my dreams, and loving the people in my life with all my heart and soul.

So, what are you up to in life? What kinds of things would be possible for you if you weren't "run" by your circumstances?

Friday, October 22, 2010

SUBLIMINAL FRIDAY: Dear Blog

Dear Blog,

I've been sent by your owner to clarify a few things. First of all, please know, she thinks of you often and wishes you nothing but the best. [What-ev]. She knows you've been confused by her sporadic postings, and apologizes profusely. [The only thing she does profusely is eat chocolate.] She hopes people click on your fascinating links and are touched by the [brilliant] words she has [thoughtfully] written. [Time, she adds, that could've been better spent eating, napping, and/or watching Oprah.]

She's sure you read the posts she [painstakingly] writes, so you probably realize her life has been a bit bumpy of late. Hence, the undependable blog postings. Yes, you should feel sorry for her [send Raisinets], but no you shouldn't move in with her and help with the laundry. [Yes, you should.]

If you need her, she's here for you. [She'll be gone 'til Monday.] Feel free to call, text, FB, or Twitter her. She promises to [have her imaginary secretary] get back to you ASAP [if and when she feels like it].

Anyway, enough about her, how's life been treating you? Good? That's great! [Snoring.]

Oh, and one more thing. Your owner told me to tell you she'll be back to regular blogging one day soon. [Is 2015 soon?] She also said she loves you very much and is proud of all you've accomplished. [She never said that.]

So, dear blog, hang in there and know your owner loves you. [It's true. She does.]

Love always times a billion trillion gazillion times infinity,

Your Owner's BFF,
Amelia Genevieve Simone Bardot

[A dead ringer for the love child of George Clooney and Angelina Jolie.] [BWAHAHAHA!!!!]

Friday, October 15, 2010

Friday Writing Advice

I realize this isn't the most modest thing to say, but my YA novel is rocking the house!

One year ago today, I was in the middle of the first draft. Now, I'm 2/3 of the way through Draft #6.

I've been on a major writing roll lately after a long dry spell. The creative process - like life - works best when you let it flow naturally, rather than trying to bend it to your will. My trip to Mexico was just what I needed to replenish my soul and feel freed up to create magic in both my life and my writing.

So here's some Friday Writing Advice: (And, you might enjoy these tips from Kiersten White's husband, Hot Stuff - pure genius, that!)

1) Listen to your muse. Trust his/her lessons.

2) Take breaks when you need them! Trust yourself to know when that is.

3) Write like a banshee when you can. Let the words flow and edit later.

4) Enjoy your life! Living life to the fullest by treasuring every moment, is the best way to get prime plot lines and character ideas that make your stories as interesting as possible.

Now, get out there and enjoy your weekend! I'll see you on flip side. ;-))

Thursday, October 7, 2010

I've Come to the Sea or What I Learned on my Autumn Vacation

I had one goal while in Mexico: to leave the past behind and get on with my life. And, I'm happy to report, I achieved my goal.

To sum it up, let me start by saying that when I was around 20 years old, I created a "safe song," meaning whenever I'd hear a song in my head that I hated, I'd replace it with a particular song I loved. It was a way to reprogram my mind. (As a musician, hearing music I don't like is like rubbing salt in an open wound times a thousand. Painful doesn't begin to describe it.) The wonderful song I chose to replace the bad one with was, "Friends" from Led Zeppelin's third album:

I'm tellin' you, now
The greatest thing you ever can do, now

Is trade a smile with someone who's blue, now
It's very easy, it's very easy


Before my vacation, I was watching Jenny McCarthy on Oprah. (Stick with me, I swear this will all come together.) When asked about how she was doing after her split from Jim Carrey, she said, "I've learned so many great lessons. One is, I'm the total hot fudge sundae. If a great guy comes along, then it's like I've got extra whipped cream and hot fudge, but it's not necessary. I'm a complete sundae all by myself." (Or words to that effect.)

That stuck with me, and when I was in Mexico, I was having a conversation with my sister, Laurie, about my "safe song" and the Jenny M. interview.

"You need a safe word!" she said, referring to how my mind kept obsessing about my recent situation. "How about hot fudge sundae?"

And, there it was. Hot Fudge Sundae. Transformation.

Now, every time I go to that dark place I think, "Hot fudge sundae!" (HFS) and snap myself out of debilitating, life-sucking thoughts and back into the present and my infinite blessings. (If you're in a "stuck" place in life, figure out what your HFS is. Trust me, it's the greatest gift you can give yourself.)

Here are a couple of clips from Cabo. The first was taken on our last day there. Laurie and I were sitting by one of the four, magnificent pools at the resort and she was interviewing me about what I got out of the trip. (Now you'll understand the HFS reference!) The second is a poem I wrote while staring out at the sea from my balcony. Again, it's my beautiful sister, Laurie, behind the camera. The lyrics are posted just below the link, and the picture is of a rock we named, "Lion Rock," which is referenced in the poem.

(This is a picture of Laurie and I. I'll be posting more pics from the trip on my FB page if you're interested.)

Here goes:

What I Learned on My Autumn Vacation

I've Come to The Sea

I’VE COME TO THE SEA
I’ve come to the sea to see about me
To feel my great power, to set myself free
I’ve come to the sea to hear the waves moan
To wrap me inside them and bring me back home
I’ve come to the sea where my spirits can dance
On white crests of heaven, on Lion Rock’s past

I’ve come to the sea to leave deep parts behind
Parts that are tainted and haunting my mind
I’ve come to the sea where my heart comes alive
To see through to truth so my soul may survive
I’ve come to the sea where the mystic waves reign
And the magic chants whisper a love I can’t name

I come to the sea where the sun and clouds meet
Rejoice in their majesty, make me complete
I come to the sea when my heart is in pain
A breath that is ancient restores me again
I come to the sea where my soul’s angels fly
And my heart, it is healing, through wondrous tides

I come to the sea to feel myself soar
Awaken my core as the waves kiss the shore
I come to the sea where I find life again
Sand castles beckoning suffering’s end
I come to the sea, on my spirits I call
They hold me up high upon nothing at all

I come to the sea where my soul beats its drum
To a rhythm of tides that cannot come undone
I come to the sea to find much that I’ve lost
To remind me to sing my own song at all costs
I come to the sea to sleep peaceful and calm
To hear the sea’s wisdom, be rocked in its arms

I come to the sea where my mind is at peace
Waves whisper, “Let go, let your soul be released”
I’ve come to the sea where my heart is on fire
Dancing a tango of love and desire
I come to the sea to find truth in a wave
And feel magical, passionate light shine my way

I come to the sea to feel cleansed and complete
To see I am all that I ever will need
I’ve come to the sea where my family dwells
In their vision and warmth I am perfectly held
I’ve come to the sea to let go of the nights
That are holding me back, choking me tight
I’ve come to the sea so at home I can start
To give my love freely to those in my heart
I’ve come to the sea where my joy comes alive
For the sea is the place I’ve adored for all time

JCK. 10.3.10

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