Crack Open

How are you feeling about your career?

Are you where you want to be?
Is your audience growing and adoring you?
Do you have money coming in from your work and systems in place for much more to flow in the new year?

Take a moment….and truly ask,
How is it going?

As we near the end of the year, this is a big time for reflection, to ask,
What is working?
What is NOT working?

And as Creatives, we tend to get really caught up in what’s NOT working.  It can be devastating to put out so much of ourselves, our passion and craft, and not see the return we desire.

And wanting to put on the “brave face” makes it even harder, especially at this time of year when we have the pressure of holidays, family, and all the gatherings where people are asking US,
So….how’s it going??

It can feel like we are cracking, and coming undone.

And we can’t have that, right?  We have to keep it together. We may feel we have to:
look the part
fake it til we make it
appear confident

Isn’t that how success comes?

 

Oh my God……there’s a HUGE crack…..

I look down at my bowl in my bathroom and see this enormous crack in the clay.

I pick up the bowl and can feel a panic in my stomach.  As I cup the base, my mind starts to race,
I just GOT this

This bowl was made for my husband and I as a wedding gift from one of my Zen teachers and dear friends.  Using the Raku technique, she made us a ring bowl, which was used in our wedding ceremony.  My husband and I placed our wedding rings in this bowl when we made our sacred vows to each other.

There was deep significance to this bowl.

Deep significance to this marriage.

I went through a devastating divorce six years ago, and the journey to finding love again was quite intense.  I had a ton of healing to do.  I went on the first date of my LIFE at the age of 38, I had to learn all the ins and outs of online dating, in which I was a complete beginner and VERY awkward. I had to get in touch with my feminine, which had been completely shut down for years. I had zero confidence.

I worked with coaches, I signed up for videos and email lists, because I kept feeling SO lost.  I knew I wanted this with all my heart, but was struggling in the process.

I would get my hopes up so many times, thinking I was truly READY for lasting love, only to be disappointed again. And time was ticking….I was in my early 40’s and really struggling with wanting him here now.

How much time did I really have?

Have you ever felt this?
The urgency of time?

When I finally found my life partner it was a whole new level, one I never thought possible, and I found myself burst open with love. The life I had only dreamed of was coming true.  All the work I had done was now coming to fruition.

Our wedding ceremony was profound for me.  In front of closest family and friends, I took a deep breath, and felt the emotion rise in my throat as I ended my vows staring into the eyes of my beloved with,

20 years ago I stood before witnesses
believing I understood this act.
I honor and love that woman
who’s long sleep brought me to this day.
Today, I meet her on the shore
and turn to you whole,
my dear love.
I vow to awaken within our clasped hands and joined lives.
from the crickets song to the dying leaves.
Unfurled in the sacred space,
petals open for all to see,

I vow to love you,

Lights on and Awake.

 

The day was amazing.  The wedding was sacred and beautiful.  My husband and I brought that special bowl back to our house and placed it in our bathroom to hold our rings.

Deep significance.

And now there was a crack……
What did this mean?
I thought I had worked through all of this!
Wasn’t this bowl supposed to be a symbol of the healing, and the wholeness of finding each other?

I reached out to my teacher Hojin to ask if she could repair the bowl and she said she absolutely could.  Having just returned from India, she actually had this new technique of filling the crack with gold.

Within a short time, the bowl was returned to us and I had expected to just see the crack, and now saw a gold line throughout the whole bowl.  That wasn’t there before….had it cracked more?

When I asked Hojin about it, she said,
I had to break it open to fix it.
It had to come apart to be repaired.

And then I got it. All of it.

And I now saw the beauty, and honestly, how the bowl in it’s present state was actually perfect.

My whole life came apart in order to discover my true calling as an Artist.
My marriage came apart for me to discover what true and healthy love actually was.
My career as a performer came apart for me to create my own platform and work I love.

The WAY I WAS in my life broke open.
I surrendered, I asked for help, and my cracks that I had tried for YEARS to hide, finally broke me open.

And for the first time, I had deep connection with my audience and raving fans. I realized I had been going about growing my audience completely BACKWARDS.

The cracks had actually been there all along SHOWING me what wasn’t working.  They were pointing to where I was exhausting myself.  They were pointing to where I was trying the same thing OVER AND OVER and expecting different results.

Isn’t that the definition of insanity?

And how about you?

As you take this time to reflect on 2018, where are your cracks?
Are you more concerned with having it all together, then actually getting the help you need?

What do you need?
Do you even know?

Our journey as Artists is not linear.
Our journey was never meant to do alone.

It can feel deeply isolating in the struggle, but perhaps the struggle is there to HELP you….

 

Take a moment, without judgement and close your eyes.  Come into your body and connect to your breath.  Now ask yourself,
What do I MOST need?

Let this arise, cracks and all.  Allow yourself to see where you truly are.  Release the judgement that you have to do this by yourself.

Crack open.

And then place your attention on the REPAIR.  Fill the cracks with GOLD.  That means, actually addressing what you need NOW to build your career as an Artist and to grow your audience.

And by GOLD, I mean skillful.
I mean helpful.
I mean from someone who GETS you and can actually partner with you to create the results you want in your career. Someone who is either a professional or has been a professional.

 

Your career, this precious bowl…..what could it mean to repair what’s not working?
What would be possible for you then?

I’m standing for your dreams.
Gold in hand.

Two Years, Two Lights, One Plate

white-plate

I was there when the second plane hit, I saw it with my own eyes. It was such a sunny September day in New York City.

This week, walking into Union Square in New York City, I looked skyward and saw them, two shining beams piercing the sky, a memorial that blazes the skyline every year the week before September 11.  And it all came back.

The day, and my journey.

While there were many ways I processed the grief and senseless hatred of this act, where I found my truest voice was in dance and writing.

These are my creative HOMES.

What’s yours?

Three years ago, on September 11, 2013, I danced in the Table of Silence Project, choreographed by Jacqulyn Buglisi at Lincoln Center in New York City.  It was so powerful, I agreed to perform two years in a row, returning again in 2014.

This is the gift we have as Creatives.  It’s what we express and the change we inspire.  The Table of Silence has been performed every year since 2011, and is broadcast across the world.  The audience has reached the millions, offering a message of peace.

What I didn’t expect was how dancing in the Table of Silence would actually heal me on a much deeper level.  I began with one intention, and was gifted something far more powerful.

The belief that I could do more. The realization that I had something to give, and I wasn’t alone.

It was after dancing in the Table of Silence that I decided to launch my own business.

Here is my original entry from September of 2014. At that time, this was just a blog with no inkling of a business. My audience has grown 26x since then……I have grown in ways I never thought possible.

What waits for you?

 

My White Plate

(edited)

 

“Repeat after me, I am a miracle.”

I am a miracle.

“Hand over your heart, I am a miracle!”

I AM A MIRACLE.
 
We stand in rows of ten, twelve deep, dressed in white, and all eyes and ears on the woman up front, our director and guru, Jacqulyn Buglisi.  She is leading us in rehearsal for The Table of Silence Project.  Her company members from Buglisi Dance Theatre walk throughout to help with the movements, give correction, and answer questions.

We beat our sternums, singing out, and let the vibration ring through the cavernous studio space.  We clap our hands in front of our mouths, only fingers touching, and then bring our hands out, palms offering the sound, forearms perpendicular with our bodies.  Our bare feet stand firmly on the floor where we add our intention to share our message through dance with our audience.

We offer our expression, we offer our silence.

 

I was on the N train in Astoria heading towards Queens Plaza to transfer to the express train.  I had only lived in NYC for three years and had my second day of jury duty.  As I was a Queens resident, I had to report to the courthouse pretty far out.

I had spent my first day trying to look as dour and pissed as possible so I wouldn’t be picked.  So far, the strategy was working.

The N line is an elevated train out in Queens, and I stared out the window at the smoke billowing from the one of the towers of the World Trade Center.  It was churning out in large black puffs and I got out of my seat to try to understand.  I heard a woman on her cell phone say something about an airplane, but all my brain could process was there had to be an explosion.

Suddenly the second tower was engulfed in fire and smoke. From my vantage point, I only saw the impact, and couldn’t comprehend what was happening.

When I arrived at the courthouse, every TV was on and people were standing, staring blindly at the images.  My eyes widened as I took in the reality of the attack.

We were excused pretty quickly and the subways had already shut down, so everyone was bee-lining for buses.  They were all packed, and I lined up with others to get on whatever came next.  This was my only way home.  As I walked out of the courthouse, I got the word,

The First Tower is Down

I felt my stomach drop into my heels, and my legs stopped working.  I stood on the concrete outside the courthouse, and for a moment everyone rushed by me, running for the buses.  There was a horrible smell in the air, and black was streaming across the blue sky.

One question arose,

“What is going to happen?”

I got on the first bus I could, and everyone had the same frantic look in their eyes.  People were trying to call friends and family and the lines were getting jammed.  I was trying to call one of my closest friends to make sure she hadn’t gone into Manhattan, and I was just getting a busy signal.

I turned to the stranger next to me and saw myself in her.  I asked her where the bus was going and she asked me where I needed to go.

We were all lost in the confusion of this attack, a community formed out of survival.

Through their help, I got off and followed the subway tracks home.  I sat on my couch, watching the one station still broadcasting, and wept for the lives lost, for the fear, and for the destruction.  Ash filled the New York sky, and I curled into a ball, mourning the loss.

These two towers held some beautiful memories, and now they were a massive graveyard of twisted steel and burning death.
 
The following day, my neighbors held a candlelight vigil on the sidewalk outside our apartment.  We came together to comfort, as the city did the same.  People streamed into the island to help, and to search.

As I witnessed this community, I felt for the first time this was my home.  We were leaning on each other for strength, and holding each other in grief.

 

This is my second year dancing in the Table of Silence Project.  Last year I placed white powder on my face to signify ash, and walked on Lincoln Plaza with over a hundred dancers. In the face of divorce , robbery, and the sudden death of a dear friend, I felt I had burned over and again in my loss.

In the first year I performed, I cried deeply, feeling my heart so broken.

Jacqulyn’s words were a beacon to me, reminding me of my inner peace, and the power of our collective hands raising.

Now, after removing white plates from each other’s mantels, we all sat in the sunshine, crossed legged, in silence, eyes lowered, listening to the flutes echoing across the plaza. We formed three concentric circles around the main fountain, a sacred geometry.

As I sat, I realized there was a change.

I was not sad, and suddenly the tears flowed. 

This was the Miracle.

My tears caught the white powder on my cheeks, and fell into the plate in my lap, held carefully between my hands.  At the sound of the bell, I raised my plate heavenward, offering in silence my story and journey.

A plane flew overhead and instead of smoke, I saw blue sky.

I had worried my bare feet would bleed and tear dancing outside at Lincoln Plaza, but the granite was smooth and cool beneath my feet.  My soles had calloused and strengthened over the three weeks of practice, and they carried me out of the plaza, in a line, following this community in white, all of us holding our plates at our heart centers, as the drums beat on and on.

Today I walk, and I offer peace.  I dance in peace.

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