Tag: Empowerment

Calming Emotions, Mindfulness

Wrong Turns Allowed

Just before I fell asleep, a car swerved into my lane and shoved me off the road, jolting me out of that twilight state and back into my bed where I was safe and sound.

Well…safe. I’m not too sure about sound.

It took some calming affirmations to get myself relaxed enough to truly fall asleep. But whenever I woke in the night, I still had this unsettling feeling—as if at any moment, something unexpected would happen to derail me. As if I shouldn’t have been on that road.

As if I made a wrong turn.

I’m often invaded by sudden images, sometimes while wide awake. I’m walking along when—BAM!—I see and feel myself twisting an ankle. I can even hear the familiar crunch. It’s sudden and visceral and startling. And I hate it. But I understand it: I have a long history of falling off my foot.

The first time it happened I was living in Manhattan. I had just spent the day rehearsing for Cats, executing all manner of coordinated feats, when I stepped in a pothole and twisted my ankle. After that, all it took was a less than solid step for me to, literally, fall off my foot. No pothole necessary. Just a slight misalignment and down I’d go. It’s happened dozens of times since then, always unexpected, always painful, always accompanied by cringe-worthy crunch and a shock of pain.

So what does this have to do with a car running me off the road?

Insecurity

The unexpected car veering into my lane and the ankle I keep re-twisting in my imagination are signals from my subconscious that I’m feeling uncertain about myself. Did I take the wrong turn? Am I on the right course? Or is the bridge out ahead and I’m headed for disaster?

That’s what I love about this Toontown sign: It reminds me that wrong turns are okay, but more than that, it implies that wrong turns are a natural part of getting from here to there.

It’s scary to stretch out of the comfort zone.

We don’t know what to expect.

We don’t know how others will respond.

We don’t know if we’ll inadvertently cause harm or create a monumental mess.

We’re taking a chance, and in the process, risking failure.

So yeah… it’s scary. And yet, it needs to be done. Otherwise, how can we grow?

I remind myself of this when the startling images catch me unaware—while falling asleep, while walking through a lobby, while sitting at a table with friends with whom I should feel completely comfortable and am not. I shake off the feeling—a very visceral feeling—and remind myself that I am capable of handling whatever comes. Because that’s really what matters, isn’t it?

Confidence isn’t about always being right or perfect, it’s about knowing you can get back on course when you take a wrong turn.

Stay calm and get it done
Exciting Stuff, Motivation, Writing

Stay Calm and Get It Done

I began this Mindful Musing in the Tom Bradly International Terminal on my way to Bali for a long awaited book-research trip. Since then I’ve enjoyed a thirteen hour flight on EVA Airlines, during which time I stretched much, slept little, watched movies, and ate jook for breakfast—a rice porridge also known as congee made with minced pork, and in this case, sprinkled with dried bits of fish. The jook was a particularly auspicious treat since it’s comfort food for the heroine of my ninja vigilante thriller. All in all, a good beginning to my real life adventure that now, apparently, includes a typhoon in Taipei!Read more

Reflections on Gratitude...
Calming Emotions, Health, Mindfulness

Reflections on Gratitude (Insights from a Fractured Tooth)

Who knew a blast of air on a fractured tooth could render a badass ninja into a trembling kitten? Okay… I suppose I would have expected it if I had given it prior thought. But here’s the thing: I don’t have problems with dental work. I don’t leap from the chair like a Halloween cat and claw the ceiling every time the dentist pokes at a tooth. In fact, my biggest concern is staying awake in those comfy reclining chairs. But when that air blasted my nerve, I embedded all twenty of my claws so deeply into ceiling panel I didn’t think I’d ever come down.Read more

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Mindfulness, Perspective

Art of Meaningful Coincidence

What is it that makes us look left instead of right so we can see exactly what we need to see, or that makes us pick up an unknown book from a wall of thousands to find exactly what we need to read, or that leads us along a series of unusual choices to an unexpected—yet perfect—outcome?Read more

Reflections from a Beach Girl
Calming Emotions, Communication, Mindfulness, ShowBiz

Reflections from a Beach Girl

In 1986, I recorded with Brian Wilson. I was a young singer at the time and thrilled to be hired (along with two fabulous women) to sing on his album-in-progress. This was during a difficult time in Brian’s life when he was struggling to get back into his music. A couple years later, he would come out with his critically acclaimed solo album. But in 1986, he was in the midst of his struggle with music and his longtime therapist, Eugene Landy.Read more

Owning Our Fantasies
Perspective, ShowBiz, Writing

Owning Our Fantasies

I, like all of you, having been watching a media firestorm concerning the film, FIFTY SHADES OF GREY.  I have read and heard the shaming and condemnation.  (And yes, when we tell women that what they feel is silly, corrupt, or damaging to the future of all women, we are shaming and/or condemning.)  I have seen the Facebook posts, the boycott petitions, and the open letters to our daughters.  But here’s the thing… this film did not emerge out of nothing.  Millions of women responded to and enjoyed this story.  Given those numbers, I think it is safe to assume that some of those women are people we like, respect, and perhaps even love.  Think about that for a moment.Read more

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Exciting Stuff, ShowBiz, Writing

Farewell 2014

There’s something oddly satisfying about being exhausted at the end of the year. It makes me feel as though I squeezed out every experience and capitalized on every opportunity. It’s not true, of course. I enjoyed tons of down time and did a respectable amount of vegging—most of which involved going to the movies and binge watching Netflix and Hulu, and reading a few dozen books.Read more

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Communication, Exciting Stuff, Writing

Relationship-Building at THRILLERFEST

I’m back in Malibu after four days of relationship-building in New York City! Sure, I was at an exciting conference, jam packed with thrilling authors. And, yes, I got to pitch my novel with great success. And, of course, there were fabulous books, exceptional panels, celebrity authors, classy parties, and heartfelt entertainment. But what really made the weekend for me was the opportunity to forge and strengthen relationships.

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GreenWoodHorse
Mindfulness, Motivation

Year of the Green Wooden Horse

Happy Lunar New Year! We are now in the Year of the Green Wooden Horse and I’m excited about the possibilities. Already I am feeling more focused, GreenWoodHorseenergized, and committed. I’m not entirely sure this has to do with the Chinese zodiac, but from everything that I’ve read it seems as though the year of the horse holds great promise for success. That is, if we’re willing to put in some diligent effort!

Which makes me wonder—Is it really any different than any other year?Read more

radioprofile6001
Exciting Stuff, Mindfulness, Motivation, Writing

Launching Empowered Living Radio with a Powerful Discussion on Personal Responsibility

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Weekly Live/Podcast that Shares Strategies to Celebrate Life

Well, in less than a week I will be debuting the first episode of Empowered Living Radio!  This is a topic oriented show and the first topic is a big one—Personal Responsibility.  Those two words trigger a variety of emotions in people, everything from defensiveness to pride, bringing up thoughts of blame, shame, and even politics.  Independently and together these two words are emotionally charged.  They are also the foundation for healing and empowerment.Read more

Doubtarising
Calming Emotions, Mindfulness, Motivation

Doubt Arising

DoubtarisingNegative thoughts can take over our minds like weeds in a neglected garden. Given time, those suckers dig in deep. But while pulling a mature weed is darn near impossible without an Olympic tug-of-war team behind you, pulling a new weed is easy. The trick is to take them out when they first appear.

Perhaps the worst of these insidious thoughts is doubt. Doubt is a weed on steroids. It undermines every positive idea, project, or relationship we try to grow.Read more

Calming Emotions, Mindfulness

The Problem with Blessings

It’s easy to discount the ease with which others live their lives when we are not feeling it ourselves. We hear what they’re saying but jump to all the justifiable reasons of why our life is, and must continue to be, a struggle. We list the causes of our stress—very real stress, thank you very much, not the petty minor stresses of those other people—until our listing takes on the ironic tone of bragging.

It’s tempting to itemize our ailments as though our lifestyle choices had no bearing. We can blame bad luck, poor genes, and unavoidable circumstance—all of which may be true and valid—but if we focus on this,Read more

Calming Emotions, Communication, Mindfulness

Whining Not Allowed

Whining. I don’t like it in others, and I don’t tolerate it in myself. My family can attest to this fact. Let’s just say that I’m not always the best person to come to if you want to indulge in the “Oh, woe is me” self-pity-fest. However, that is not to say that I’m not a good sounding board for ranting. I don’t mind a good rant now and then. So, what is it that distinguishes whining from ranting? For me, there are a few distinct elements.Read more