Preserving The Moss

Do you find yourself stuck in the same patterns again and again?

There you are again….
procrastinating on completing your projects…
Getting to the end of the day exhausted with NOTHING done on your To Do List


Or even worse,
The gig you wanted falling through
The person who was supposed to hook you up going AWOL
Opening another rejection letter or email

It can be so disheartening!

And I imagine, you may be thinking,
This will NEVER change.  I will be STUCK in this pattern forever!

This can feel so discouraging and really take a toll on our inspiration, and our motivation.

You may be thinking,
There must be something wrong with me.
I’ll never make it.

I get it.  I remember bawling my eyes out when I blew a callback for Sister Act on Broadway.  I had wanted it SO bad, and at this point it was another in a looooong line of disappointments where at the final moment when I needed to deliver, I would choke. It was as if I couldn’t sing….I literally froze and when they went to test my range, all I heard in my head was,
“You can’t do this”

I was really believing I would always do this.
I was really believing I didn’t have what it takes to sing at that level.

And indeed, this belief kept me stuck.

Can you relate?

I would marvel at my friends who were booking their Broadway gigs, and just ask, from my absolute depths,
What am I missing?
What are they doing that I’m not?
And why the HECK can I not deliver when it matters most?
What is holding me back?

Have you ever asked yourself these questions?

I thought of you last weekend.

I was at a three day intensive up at Zen Mountain Monastery in the Catskills, the place where my whole Zen journey began six years ago, and where I was married last September.

The theme of the intensive?
Wholesome Action.

As part of the daily schedule, we do what is called Care Taking, which is typically an hour to 90 minutes of taking care of the monastery and grounds, doing various chores like
Gardening
Laundry
Cleaning
Kitchen prep

All of these activities are done as a way of taking care of the space that is taking care of US.  This is our giving back.  What’s most important about this process is, we do it in silence.  It becomes a meditation, so when we get distracted, we come back to the task at hand; back to what we are doing in the moment, and cultivating not only the single focus, but the appreciation for this very special and sacred place.

I was chosen to help out with Cemetery Duty and headed up the hill in the woods with five others, bringing buckets and pads for our knees.

Our care taking?
To preserve the moss.

I had never been to the Cemetery before, and was taken by the beautiful enormous altar, and the peaceful setting.  There were stone pathways, gravestones, and lots of moss…..except the moss was covered.

My job was to pick up the sticks and the pine needles that had fallen and were choking off the moss.  And there was a LOT…in fact the needles seemed to be everywhere.  So, I got down on the ground, and began to gather the needles.

According to Basic Biology.net
“Mosses play a vital role in being among the first colonizers of disturbed sites. They stabilize the soil surface, thereby reducing erosion, while at the same time reducing the evaporation of water, making more available for succeeding plants.”

They come to disturbed sites, stabilize, and make space for new growth.

Stabilize and make space for growth.

In the face of my divorce, my whole body felt like a disturbed site.  My heart was breaking deeper than I had ever experienced and I felt like my whole life was burning to the ground.  In this space, I asked for help, and it came.

I learned tools around my mind.
I learned how to let go.
I learned tools around self compassion.

I was able to look at each “needle”, each “stick” that had fallen over time, over years of these pattern; these needles and sticks that were essentially my beliefs.

And what I came to realize was that underneath all I had labeled as “bad” about myself was actually something good.  And it was innate.  This goodness wasn’t affected by my heartbreak, by my divorce, by all the rejections I had endured in my career….it wasn’t affected by all the times I choked when I wanted so desperately to sing my best, or wanted to hear YES.

It was my moss.
And it needed to be preserved.

In fact, at that point, I was 37 and realized I had never placed my attention there.

Perhaps this was why I felt stuck….

And when I placed my attention on my moss, I had a radical shift in my career, a complete resurgence and ended up building a global fan base.

I was doing care taking…for the first time.

What are your sticks?
What are you needles?

What have you allowed to fall and cover up your beautiful moss?

What have you believed is real and will always be the same?
Is this helping you to go Full Time with your passion?

What if you are whole and complete?
What if the answers are actually all there, you just need help uncovering them?

There at your disturbed site, is actually an ecosystem waiting to bring you back to life in the face of disappointment and rejection. It’s there to stabilize you and create new growth.

You are actually far more powerful than you know.

Take care.
Preserve your moss.

Entering the Labyrinth

Do you ever feel like you are walking in circles?

You see your Creative Dream in front of you, but no matter how hard you try, it feels like you will never GET THERE?

You were told to devote time to Instagram, so you spent all this time and energy, and it hasn’t converted to sales.
You were told to join this group of fellow Creatives and you feel like you have nothing in common with them.
You’ve read a TON of books and taken courses, and yet you are not seeing your income increasing.
And even though, you are spending time doing yoga, or meditation, you are still JUST as frustrated and devastated when you hear NO.

Any of this sound familiar?

All you want is for someone to just tell you HOW to make it happen.

You are so ready….why isn’t the universe answering your call?
Why aren’t you getting what you are asking for?

Is anyone listening?

I imagine it’s exhausting, seeing your vision in front of you, and feeling SO confused.

Can it just be a simple path laid out with a clear direction?

 

Two weeks ago, I was at the Lifebridge Sanctuary retreat center in upstate NY. I was there for a four day intensive on Non-Violent Communication.

I had A LOT swimming within me.  I just got married, was missing my husband, and had all kinds of fears coming up around making this marriage better than my last.

On a break,  I took a walk on the grounds and came across a sign,
Welcome to the Labyrinth.

I looked ahead of the sign, expecting to see entry to some high wooded walls, my mind already creating versions from Harry Potter or Stephen King novels.  When I didn’t see this entrance, I turned to my left and instead saw a ring of stones on the grass.

This was the labyrinth. Simple.

The sign read:
 “As you enter this ritual journey, may you deepen your understanding of what is means to be in the right relation with the magic that is in yourself, the environment, and the Universe….”

As I entered the labyrinth, what struck me was how CLEARLY I could see the middle, the end point. With no walls, it was visible the whole time.  So, I started at the entrance, seeing where I wanted to go.

Immediately, it was disorienting.  I thought I was going towards the center, but actually found I was moving towards the outside.

How could the steps moving forward be taking me further away from the middle as opposed to closer?

Have you ever felt this in your Career?

But, I kept walking, step after step, and found myself viewing the center from ALL angles.  Even when I thought I was close, the path would lead me away, suddenly swerving to the other side.

But, I kept walking…….trusting each step, even though to my EYE it didn’t look like the path was leading to where I wanted to be.

And then, there I was, in the middle, actually a step away from the entrance.
I had arrived.

I looked down at my feet, and at the crazy swirling path that brought me here.

I thought of how in the face of my divorce, I pleaded with the universe for it not to happen.
I thought of losing my home, my car, and just wanting it all to stop.
I thought of hiring a life coach for the first time thinking I would do more film & TV, and instead launching a blog, and a business that actually allowed me to be the Artist I had always wanted to be.
I thought of all the heartbreaking dates I went on, desperately wanting the next guy to be my man.

The path was NOT linear, although I wanted it to be SO badly.  I went ALL over the place to arrive in this moment, here, married to the love of my life and doing work I love.

It didn’t look like I thought it would, and many times, I felt like I was so far away from my dream and vision.

But I kept walking, in faith and trust, knowing CLEARLY what I wanted.

 

So, what do you want?
Is your vision clear?

 

We can really caught up in believing things are going wrong if the PROCESS isn’t what we expected.  But the truth is, you don’t know what you don’t know.  You are working towards something you’ve never had in your life before, so how could you know what is actually looks like to get there?

This is where you hire mentors and coaches who HAVE taken the path to guide you on the way.

 

I NEVER thought I would live in NJ, and here I am.
I ALWAYS thought the only way I would be fully fulfilled and feel like I “made it” was to be on Broadway, and yet the work I do now far exceeds any show I performed in.

I didn’t have this before, so I HAD NO IDEA what the path would look like. I had a lot of ideas about what I thought it SHOULD look like…and so really it was a journey of letting go of that, and just being open to the experience, all the while staying deeply connected to what is important to me.

All the while staying deeply connected to my life, every breathing moment. Every disappointment, every frustration, every heartbreak.

We will all experience pain along the way, but you have the power to determine whether or not you suffer in it.

Can you walk the twists of your creative life, and instead place your attention on something far greater?

Faith.

One of my teachers said,
You get in the boat, and set your course due east, but you have no control over the water.  It may be stormy with crashing waves, it may be calm as glass…that is not under your control. 

Release your iron grip on what the journey looks like, and instead place your focus and intention on your vision.  The raging storms are not proof you should stop, but merely a PART of the journey.

What is possible for you now?

 

Welcome to the labyrinth.

Here are a few guidelines:
1) Set your intention for your walk
2) Have no expectations
3) Pause and take a few deep breaths
4) Walk at your own pace
5) You may pass others, others may pass you.
6) As you reach the center stay as long as you wish; pray or ponder.
7) When ready, return on the same path to your starting point.
8) Please maintain silence

 

“Those who have walked a labyrinth with an open heart know the power of the experience.  Its path is a ritual journey from the threshold at the entrance to a more metaphoric threshold at the center – A path of discovery and self knowledge.”
– John Bloom