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The price of a stage presence October 30, 2012

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Many times we find ourselves pretending our way through life…oh, if we could only get paid for all those convincing performances! We use our manners, step aside, keep silent, please our parents, teachers, mothers, friends. This “faking our way” is easy, nice and smooth, up front, but the results can be scary. The drama manifests itself as resentment, depression, tension, regret, even illness.

On the other end of the spectrum lies living in truth, meeting life head on with brazen honesty. This way of relating to our surroundings is intimidating, even terrifying in the beginning, but the results? So very rewarding. We gain confidence every time we demonstrate vulnerability and are loved anyway; we gain credibility every time we tell a difficult truth; we put others at ease every time we throw up our hands and forget our manners when life gets crazy; we build ourselves up every time we accept who we really are, faults included and give those we love permission to do the same.

It is true…down “the road less traveled” lie infinite rewards. Go there and see.

Invisibility October 25, 2012

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Seems most people fear invisibility. They want to be noticed…. for their looks, promotions, children’s accomplishments, cleverness, courage, altruism. If recognition does not come naturally, well, that is okay because they can pin it, Facebook it, tweet it, scrapbook it, or blog it.There is a tightrope dance that teeters between “I am putting on my pajamas early tonight” (who gives a damn?) and “here is what chemotherapy meltdown looks like, really” (wow, how can anyone be so bravely honest?).

For some, including myself, the biggest fears lie in being seen. I have spent a few dozen years trying to blend in, fit in, stay in, melt in…even right into the walls. I have stood in the back row despite my petite frame, avoided cameras like the flash will make my skin dissolve off my face, worn little or no make up, even starved myself to seventy-two pounds so I could slowly fade away. I suppose some are naturally shy, and others, like myself, have been beaten metaphorically into submission through belittling, shame, and outright verbal abuse. The results are similar: my straight A’s were not A pluses, my breasts were too small to be sexy, college was too scary without alcohol and drugs to ease the tension, the awards were too easily obtained to be meaningful, my experiences were not worthy of an audience.

Then, in the span of a few months, I ran into some coaches, some blogs, some authors who all seemed to be gathering and telling me to speak. ┬áPeople came into my life that appreciated my wit, my insanely smart ass sense of humor, my tiny frame, the way I moved, my sense of fairness, and my willingness to be truthful and watch the chips fall. In short, they love me…not the potential me, not the polite me, not the “I must act this way in public” me. They love the woman who wears sweat pants too often, then slides into something bordering on “please do not let my mother wear that” in nature. They love that I can shop in the girls and junior departments for clothes and shoes, but swear ferociously even in everyday conversation. They let me be quiet, they read my long emails, wipe my tears.

I am no longer shopping in the men’s section, hoping the fabric will not touch my skin and show its shape. I am no longer quiet when I am angry or hurt. I smile for the camera, enjoy and surrender a body I once tried to destroy, I write my heart out, I tell my mother off, I voice my sometimes unpopular opinions, I dance in my living room and forget to shut the blinds. I am visible.

Love is not an Attitude; Love is Attitude! October 16, 2012

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Popular belief holds we approach life, people, problems with an attitude of love; but what if love comes first? Does love give us attitude, that strutting assurance that knows no limit? Love lets us walk straighter, laugh more, wear favorite shoes and lacy bras, sing out loud, dream, take a first step, go forward, close the deal, place the bet, take the plunge, face the fear, and expect the best. Love offers more than hope because it also gives the┬áconfidence to make life happen. When we exude “love attitude” we feel sexy about ourselves and our possibilities. And our light shines. We fill up a room, we give away some of what we have, and we grin knowingly as someone else begins to give life a big high five…..

Happiness October 10, 2012

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My daughter had to interview me for her homework. When she asked, “what do you wish for me?” I said, “that you will always be loved for just who you are.”
When asked why I did not choose happiness, I said that I knew she would not always be happy, but that if someone could love her through it all, she would be fine, at peace. Sometimes I think loneliness is worse than sadness. You can fix sadness alone, but loneliness requires another, a dual effort…a bit more complicated.

Break ups October 10, 2012

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I used to think that the relationships were good and I somehow “broke” them, and I spent years trying to fix them so I would not be perceived as a failure. Problem was the premise; they were unhealthy in the first place and nothing could change that. What I could fix was me, my behavior, my perceptions of others’ actions. I thought if I made men happier, they would behave differently. Now, if I make myself happier, I behave differently, and it just breeds more happiness. You know I am by no means great at this; I can have some bad days, weeks; be needy and terrified. But at least now I can see it, I can believe I just might deserve better, and the pieces do not have to be perfect to still fit together beautifully….”broken” does not have to be the starting gate.

The meaning of life? October 10, 2012

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Is it possible that the meaning of life is simply living it, in the present, aware, and grasping every experience as if it were all you would ever know? The meaning is not the destination…it is not even the path. You cannot plan a life; you can only build it using what is in your hand at the time. Yes, you can hope, try to look toward the future…but with uncountable variables, both human and earthly, and not even the length sporting a guarantee, the only promise of a full life is in saying yes to all the goodness and love you see and feel in this moment.