Sunday, August 31, 2014

Simply Authentic...Your Soul Voice is Calling. When Others Doubt

When Others Doubt

Lately I have had several conversations with different people for whom what they have been doing (specifically in their job/profession) simply is not working anymore. These people have all known for some time that change was inevitable; it’s just a matter of time. Two of these people, both colleagues I met in a work environment whom I also consider friends, have opted to leave their current situations without what many might term a “safety net.” Both have long term partners who are wonderfully supportive, yet they are in different stages in their careers and work life. One plans to temp while she identifies a job she really wants in the right environment with the right people, and the other will take her nursing and business skills in a different direction that is more heart fulfilling.

I have taken leaps of faith like this myself, at least three times, throughout my career so far. I don’t consider myself a particularly courageous person. Some of the motorcycle rides my brother has gone on would probably make me throw up. There is no way I am jumping out of an airplane with a parachute, as my fiancé has done.

Yet I do know it takes courage to leave your comfort zone. The thing is…for most people the comfort zone has become so uncomfortable it feels like change is the only choice if you are to get out of bed in the morning and not pawn everything you own for a one way ticket to anywhere but here.

AND! Then you have to deal with other people in your life when you tell them, or they eventually learn, about your decision. If making the decision to take the leap of faith is difficult…say, like trying to photograph a giraffe in the wild in Africa…trying to explain why you have done so to people who profess to care about you (and probably really do)… can be like trying to saddle and ride the long-neck.

Very often people who come across as negative simply want what THEY feel is best for you. They don’t want you to be hurt if you fail. They most likely haven’t read Wayne Dyer’s 10 Secrets for Success and Inner Peace and learned about the myth of failure. As Dyer says, there is no such thing as failure. Everything we do simply produces a result.

If you make a chocolate soufflé and it falls the first time, do you whine and cry about being a failure as a chocolate soufflé maker? Or do you simply try the recipe again, a different recipe, or create your own, until you’ve made the soufflé you had envisioned?

If I had gone by the first batch of garlic dill pickles I made with my ex-husband when we had a garden and baby cucumbers, I’d be a lifetime failure as a pickle maker. They were so salty and soggy, I dumped all six quarts down the garbage disposal…except for the one I’d brought the neighbors, and they were grateful when I suggested the same to them! The next batch wasn’t salty enough, yet was crisper. The third batch was nearly perfect, if a tad heavy on the garlic.

Each batch was closer to the “dream pickle”, so to speak.

The same is true of whatever change and next move is calling to you. It doesn’t have to be perfect at the onset. Just take a step. Experience how it tastes, smells, and feels. If it isn’t quite right…tweak it. And then tweak it again.

I believe in you.

Authentically Yours,


Sunday, August 24, 2014

Simply Authentic...Your Soul Voice is Calling. The Three Time Rule

The Three Time Rule

One philosophy I live by is what I sometimes call the Three Time Rule. We receive little nudges, often unbeknownst to us, meant to bring us another step closer to realizing our dreams and creative potential. I’m thinking back now to a day in college towards the end of my senior year. I majored in broadcast journalism my freshman year at South Dakota State University. One of my classes entailed an assignment doing radio spots and editing (at that time, literally splicing) the tape with a partner. My partner’s name was Marilyn. Marilyn and I had the best time doing that assignment, laughing our way through most of it. As you can imagine, we had to tape over and over again because of the laughter, so we were in the studio the entire afternoon. I don’t remember what kind of a grade I got on that assignment, but I do remember the fun Marilyn and I had together.

 I switched majors to psychology and eventually sociology after that term and didn’t see Marilyn again for three years. Then in the last few days of my senior year, I ran into her three times in three different locations in one day. We were both astounded. Had I known then what I know now, I would have invited Marilyn for a cup of coffee—or more likely, at the time, a beer. This Three Time Rule philosophy has proven itself to me over and over. If I see or read about something more than just a couple of times, I look into it and virtually always find some gem of inspiration I needed to move another degree or two closer to my dreams. Sometimes three different people will recommend the same book to me within a short period of time, and reading that book gives me an entirely new perspective, an alternative route to accomplishing my dreams I hadn’t seen before.

Do you think the universe fights for souls to be together? Some things are too strange and strong to be coincidences. –Emery Allen

Authentically Yours,


Sunday, August 10, 2014

Simply Authentic...Your Soul Voice is Calling. One Good Thing

One Good Thing

If you’ll excuse my “French,” this week started off shitty. I felt like crap all day on Sunday and didn’t leave the house once. I typically don’t watch much TV; (truly, I don’t; just ask my fiancé and roommate who hates it when I call him “roommate” – he’ll vouch for me.) But I sat on the sofa with my cat and watched three back to back movies on the Hallmark Channel that day. I was grateful when my voice teacher suggested rescheduling our planned afternoon get-together. In fact, I didn’t even shower until right before I went to bed (at 8:00 pm, no lie) and that was just to rinse off in cool water because the weather was hot and I was miserable.

I didn’t feel much better going into the office the next morning, but not bad enough to stay at home again and take a sick day. I was crabby. Slightly depressed. And it was a MONDAY by all accounts. I seriously considered rescheduling my phone consultation with my web diva Monday evening as well. But I’m eager to get going on my new website, had already postponed one appointment in the preceding 36 hours, and don’t have a lot of free time right now. So I decided to forge ahead.

Something happened about a quarter way through our talk. I started to get excited. I remembered what great collaborators Amy and I were when she was designing my Wishweavers logo and website something like a dozen years ago now. I got enthused about moving ahead with the writing and workshop product offerings I feel drawn to put out into the world in a bigger way. I started imagining the color scheme, design and what the site might look like. By the time we hung up the phone after 45 minutes, I was so happy I cried. Literally.

And then I thought about something a co-worker said to me last week. She got married a few months ago after being engaged for something like eight years. I may have asked her how married life was, or some such thing. She mentioned how shocked she was by her husband’s regular practice of coming home from work and laying down to rest. “He does this, for 15 or 20 minutes, every day!” she said. I thought, “How cool. Good for him!” She continued, “When I get home from work it’s always something with the kids, the pets, the groceries, laundry, putting dinner on; I never even sit down until 8:30 at night.”

My co-worker certainly isn’t the only person in the world (I’ll go so far as to say amongst mothers in particular) who could honestly, and perhaps unfortunately, make such a statement.

How many of us make a practice of doing something we want to do, something that makes us happy, every single day? Do you? Truly? I’m paying attention to if I do and so far the answer is no. But I sure feel better when I do.

I’m not talking about what you do for a living (even if you really love what you do for a living), watching TV, any household chores even if you really enjoy a particular chore, or going to the gym. And we should throw parenting out of the mix, too, no matter how much you love being a parent and love your children. I’m talking about the kind of good thing that sings to your “essential self” or “inner nature,” as author and life coach extraordinaire, Martha Beck, would say. We all have an essential self who knew this stuff before we were like, say, five. Or started school. Or whenever other people started telling us all the reasons why we shouldn’t or couldn’t engage in something that made us happy, or all the things that we should like and do because that’s the way it’s supposed to be.

For me, for example, one of those things has always been hanging with animals. Mom tells me my first word was “kitty.” My best friend at age nine was my horse. To this day, I see the dog walking before I see the person at the other end of the leash.

Also, singing and playing piano. And walking outside in nature. Drawing was one, too.

In fourth grade (before I had even first been on stage in fifth grade) I was writing little plays, based on the TV show I DREAM OF JEANNIE, and performing them with my classmates on the playground during recess. Noone taught me to do this – I just automatically did it because it was fun and Julie or Shelly agreed to play/act with me. (There’s that instigator of mine from the last post.) Is it any wonder that acting and writing both bring me such joy now – even though I’ve made no money from acting to date – and not all that much from writing yet either!

Thank goodness I had the sense (and not the kind that comes from your head) to start taking acting classes and get back on stage again in my 30’s. And I did receive, out of the blue, a $2.19 royalty check from my first book last year. I asked my CPA if it would pop me into a higher tax bracket.

For a lot of people, gardening is one good thing. (Note I haven’t mentioned Martha Stewart. I’m not sure which library would have enough room for all of her good things.) Not so much for me, especially the pulling weeds part, but I do love hanging out in gardens and eating fresh produce from my or anyone else’s garden. Maybe for some people, going to the gym is. But I doubt it. Dancing, horseback riding, swimming, yoga, golfing, tennis, etc., is for a lot of people, though. You know the difference because of the way you feel when you think about, or are engaged in, the activity.

At the present time, I have two non-negotiables. I read something inspirational every single morning, first thing. I go to the bathroom, make a cup of tea, and go back to bed and read before I start my day. (This year it is Mark Nepo’s THE BOOK OF AWAKENING.) And I Godwalk typically five days a week. This morning I started making myself happy while I was shaving my legs as I started writing this blog post in my mind. I took my Godwalk mid-day. I sang Lorde on the way to the office. And I took a break at the office mid-afternoon to start working on this post. When I got home, I poured a lovely glass of pinot noir and am flushing out the writing now before heading into the kitchen to make tacos, which are fun to cook and I immensely enjoy eating. I will hula hoop later too (which I am darned proud of myself for learning to do at the age of 47) because that sounded like more fun than going to the gym. Which I will likely do tomorrow before…acting class!!!! J

I am challenging myself to do one good thing for my essential self every day, starting with through the end of this month. But really forever. I challenge you to try it for a week! Let me know what you discover!!

Contrary to what you may have been taught, there is nothing frivolous or superficial about what you want. It isn’t a luxury that can wait until you’ve taken care of all the “serious” business of life. It’s a necessity. What you want is what you need.” –Barbara Sher, WISHCRAFT

Laura’s Home Movie Popcorn Recipe

Put 3 tablespoons cooking oil into a heavy four quart pan and add 1/3 to 1/2 cup popping corn kernels. Cover, slightly ajar, and heat on medium, shaking occasionally, until popping slows. (Yes, microwave popcorn works in a pinch, but this is better.) Put popped corn in a large bowl and add two tablespoons melted butter, sprinkle liberally with grated parmesan cheese (try real fresh cheese rather than from the green can – I buy the already grated kind and stick it in the freezer) and add some ground sea salt. Stir well. Don’t make this when you’re on a diet, but it’s really good on a shitty Sunday when you’re watching back to back movies on the Hallmark Channel.

Life is not intended to be simply a round of work, no matter how interesting and important that work may be. A moment’s pause to watch the glory of a sunrise or a sunset is soul satisfying, while a bird’s song will set the steps to music all day long. –Laura Ingalls Wilder

Authentically Yours,


Monday, August 4, 2014

Simply Authentic...Your Soul Voice is Calling. I Give You My Word

I Give You My Word

Was there any one particular word you were labeled with as a child? Was that word true about you?

I remember a handful of words placed on me. Motor-mouth, for example, was one I heard on the school bus. Apparently I liked to talk a lot on the bus. (No wonder I’m a writer and actor now.) But that’s not “the word”…I’ll get to that in a bit. J

Recently I facilitated a “practice run” weekend workshop. As providence would have it, the participants able to make it that Saturday and Sunday received some pointed insights from the process, while giving me hugely valuable feedback.

One of the most poignant exercises was sharing our “word.” This stemmed from something I read in Julia Cameron’s THE VEIN OF GOLD (G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 1996) wherein she shared a story about composer Michael Hoppe ( I have read Cameron’s books before – but, interestingly – didn’t pull this one (a gift) out again until after I had met Mr. Hoppe personally. I sang one of his songs at the Transformational Voice Institute graduation ceremony, after I had completed the apprentice voice teacher training. I find Michael Hoppe to be gifted, gentle, insightful, and basically a wonderful man.

Paraphrasing Cameron, Michael Hoppe was denigrated a “dreamer” as a child and not encouraged to take his music and composition dreams seriously. As a result, he became an executive in the record industry, representing other artists’ works. One “happy” day (Hoppe himself was mortified at the time) his own work accidentally came up at the end of the reel of music he had presented sharing the works of other composers. But that accidentally-at-the-end-of-the-tape-composer was precisely what that particular film producer was looking for. And the “dreamer” began to embrace the dream.

For one of my workshop participants, the word was “sensitive”, feeling everything, it’s like I need to walk on egg-shells around you.

MY word was “instigator.” Always the one starting things. I knew how to get things going. Yet I often suppressed that gift because I had a feeling it was a “bad” thing. Thankfully, I came to embrace my instigator as an innovator and connector later in life.

I encourage you to identify your word, whatever it might have been. And then turn it around…what are the innate strengths in that word? In you?

I want every little girl who’s told she’s bossy, to be told instead she has leadership skills. –Sheryl Sandberg, CEO of Facebook

Authentically Yours,