Life is full of uncertainty, full of stop and do not enter signs, obstacles and anything you can imagine to keep you from climbing toward your goals. When we are in a painful situation, we sometimes can see a stairway, but because we can’t see what on the top of it, we stay where we are. We make up excuses by saying, “but there was a do not enter sign there.”
I never thought in a million years I’d be doing what I’m doing, writing a book,traveling the country to shelters inspiring women to step out of their pain, becoming a keynote speaker for corporations, mental health institutions and producing my own one woman show. The reason why I’m doing all of this is because I chose to climb up the stairs, even though I didn’t see the top. I took the unknown as a thrill. Yes I was scared. In fact there were times I was so scared I thought I was going to die. I still have moments of fear, but I keep going. You see, what I learned is that there will always be things to be scared about. That won’t change. How you handle the fear can change.
One of the amazing things I’ve seen during my visits to the shelters in California is the women I spoke to all understood they were in control of changing their life. They realized that no matter what happened to them, whether they caused themselves to end up in a shelter or circumstances caused it, they knew they can change things by changing themselves. They all seemed very aware of that. I was humbled by their stories, of pain, hope and for many fearlessness. These women are heroes of spirit.
One of the places I visited and spoke at was a hospital mental health program. Most of the audience were men. I at first wondered if I would connect to a mostly male audience, but I climbed the stairs, knowing that what was at the top I couldn’t see. I knew I had to be there and that group needed to hear me. I was amazed at the profound results.
At the end of the talk, many of the boys and men came up to me and shared their stories. They were truly taken by my talk and grateful for my time with them. And yes… They very much related to me and my message because I let go and what needed to be said just came through me that night.
The women in the audience also came over to me. One was crying. It turned out she was going through something similar to what I went through a few years back with my ex husband. She was still recovering from his abuse and was touched to see what I was doing as a result of what I’ve been through. What I learned from that night was by truly letting go and allowing your feelings, of whatever they are to be, whether it’s fear, anger, sadness or whatever come through you and trust that the stairs will take you to somewhere spectacular you will get there and touch a lot of people along the way.
Have you ever wanted to volunteer at a homeless shelter, or make a difference to the elderly but never acted on it? I spent many years teaching senior citizens yoga and movement and watched at how their limp bodies woke up and how their faces lit up to the healing power of the class. I began to wonder if there were other groups of people who can use these gifts but don’t have access to it. A lightbulb went off when I realized the homeless, with their stress level through the roof, their risk of drugs and alcohol to numb their pain is close to 100% is the perfect group of people I can share yoga and movement with. Their probability of ever trying a class is close to zero yet they can benefit from it tremendously.
This idea launched my new project of my yoga/movement shelter tour. I will be traveling the country spreading yoga, fun movement and inspiration in women’s shelters across the country. My goal is to give these women tools to make them feel physically, emotionally, and spiritually better so they can go out, learn new skills and create work for themselves so they can better their lives. These tools will teach them how to deal with stress, depression and help their body cope with everyday tasks of a workload. It’s my labor of love. I’m excited to meet and share with these women what has helped me so much.
In addition to the movement and yoga workshop I’ll be spreading inspiration and giving these women a voice on my new podcast called VOICES OF WOMEN, where I’ll be giving women from all over the globe a chance to have a real voice in the world. I’ll be starting with our homeless women, where I’ll invite them if they choose to be on my podcast, which I’ll tape live at the shelter and have them share whatever is on their mind.
I’m so excited about this because one thing that has carried me around for many years growing up and early in my awakening is the feeling that I’m unheard, invisible and not really cared about in anyway. I thought if only people really heard me, then maybe I can make some real changes in my life and the lives of those around me.
I realized I’m probably not the only person who has felt like that and so now I want to give a chance to those women to be heard.
Please share your thoughts on this project.
The only constant in life is change. When you think about it, can you remember all the details of your life from just a week ago? So much happens and so quickly. Life is truly fleeting. When I think about the journey I’ve been on the last few years I’m in awe at the perfection. When you are in middle of the journey it’s hard to see where the road will take you, even if you have your GPS on and we many times come to conclusions that are far from reality.
Most of my favorite trips were those that had unplanned destinations. It was when I stayed open to the destination or the road that would take me there that created the most incredible outcomes.
A year and a half ago I moved across the country from New Jersey to California. It was by far the most unexpected move. I never in a million years would’ve thought I’d even consider moving so far from everything I know, my family and the familiarity of my life. Moving to California presented a long journey of changes, bumps and unexpected curves. The incredible thing is looking back on that road a year and a half later.
After years of working on my book back East, I finally finished the 12 year journey. The book was just released this week as well as the other gifts I’ve started to share with the world. I struggled as an actor in NYC as well. Once I released how things should occur and what they should look like an inspiration showed up in the form of an idea, and the creation of my One Woman Show began. Wow! Who would’ve thought? How weird is that? The capital of the theater and publishing world in New York was my home for 17 years and I accomplished both a major writing and theater project in quite, suburbia Orange County California. What this tells me is you can do anything at anytime, in any place. Just stay open to the road. You don’t need to take the road everyone else travels on. The road less traveled is not only more adventurous but you might find more treasures at your destination.
I love fall. It’s my favorite season because to me not only is it breathtaking but it reminds me of change. Although the leaves are dying, they fall off the trees with grace and beauty, providing nutrients to the ground below them. There’s no real death, just change.
The same is true to our life. Moving to California was difficult at first. But by adding grace, lightness and freedom to the experience miracles began to pour my way.
If you’re going through a rough patch in your journey of life look for the adventures in the road rather then the obstacles. You’ll be amazed as to where your journey will take you.