Tag Archives: Los Angeles

The Special Olympics: Joy in Celebrating Inclusion, Dignity and Respect for All

SO1At breakfast this morning, my family was reflecting on our summer.  “The highlight of summer so far,” my elder daughter, Tara (13 years old), said, “was attending the World Games for the Special Olympics.”

My family is incredibly blessed, and our summer has included concerts, Broadway shows, world travel, lots of good food, relaxation, Disneyland and many other highlights. As my younger daughter, Leela (11 years old), nodded enthusiastically, I was moved by what an extraordinary statement they were making.

We attended the Opening Ceremony of the World Games for Special Olympics last weekend. The Special Olympics is the world’s largest sports organization for children and adults with intellectual disabilities that provides year-round training and competition for 4.4 Million athletes in 170 countries.

A few weeks ago while in Washington D.C. with my father, I attended a private dinner with Tim Shriver, the chairman of the Special Olympics. Tim was passionate and articulate about the event, as well as dispelling some of the assumptions even we had about people with intellectual disabilities. Tim is truly a humble champion for people with intellectual disabilities, and the Shriver family must be applauded for taking an event that his mother, Eunice Shriver, started over 40 years ago and making it into a global social movement that it is today. As written about in this NY Times piece, Special Olympics and The Burden of Happiness, there is a long way still to go. The World Games truly felt like a Utopian world, and the stark reality for many of these people is very different and one is reminded of the need to champion human rights for all. Continue reading

Be Part of the Filming for “Help Desk” with Devon Franklin in LA on Feb. 16!

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“HELP DESK” with

DEVON FRANKLIN

 *** A NEW SHOW TO AIR ON THE OWN NETWORK ***

 WHEN: February 16, 2014

LOCATION: Grand Park (fountain between Grand Ave and Hill St.)

             9:30AM-11:30AM –     Help Desk open to public

11:30AM-12PM –       Group Activity

Description: Help Desk is a television show on OWN that features renowned teachers, authors, and experts making themselves available in public spaces to provide advice to anyone who needs it. Help Desk is a deeply substantive series that grounds some of the great wisdom provided by today’s top experts and helps people live better and more fulfilling lives.

DeVon Franklin is a rarity: an African-American studio executive at the forefront of Hollywood’s hit machine. The 34-year-old is also the author of “Produced By Faith,” a how-to-guide about pursuing your career without compromising your faith. He currently serves as Senior Vice President of Production for Columbia Tristar Pictures. In addition to his entertainment industry pursuits, DeVon is also a preacher and motivational speaker.

Instructions:

1. Remove any hats with logos

1.  Sit down, introduce yourself!

2.  Give some basic background (age and profession).

3.  Explain your issue/problem and ask your question!

4. After you’re question is answered get up and allow the next person to step forward

5. Share any final thoughts and reactions in our “testimonial area”

What we are looking for: DeVon Franklin is looking for people seeking advice to help them with a specific life issue or circumstance.  Below are a few examples, but we are open to hearing about any particular issues you would like to discuss:

-Dissatisfaction with career/feeling trapped

-Questioning faith or belief in higher power

-Overcoming addiction

-Difficulties with weight loss

-Overcoming specific anxieties or fears

-Divorce or breakup

-Coping with job-loss

-Issues revolving around sexual identity

-Financial hardship

-Sex and relationship issues

-Loss of a family member or friend

Stumped?  Here are some sample questions:

(Keep in mind you must briefly describe a life story or circumstance that relates to the question).

I have a deep fear of “…..” .  How do I overcome this fear?

How do I deal with a family who doesn’t approve of me leaving the faith I was raised with?

How do I get over my breakup with my boyfriend/girlfriend?

How do find balance between my family life and my work life?

How do I cope with loss in my life (divorce, financial loss, job loss)?

Can I be truly happy – and what does it mean to be truly happy?

What steps can I take to discover my purpose and find meaning in life?

How do I forgive someone who hurt me?

I keep repeating the same mistakes – how do I get out of an unhealthy pattern?

How do I find passion for life?

How do I reduce my stress level at work?

Find Your Success by Finding Your Tribe

Lots of people want to ride with you in the limo, but what you want is someone who will take the bus with you when the limo breaks down.

– Oprah Winfrey

springfriendshipsWhen I first moved to California my aunt and uncle were kind enough to let me live in their guest room rent-free until I was able to find a job. The arrangement was not supposed to last more than three months. Instead, it lasted nine.

They lived 45 minutes north of Los Angeles, which was a lot more convenient than my parents’ house 3,000 miles away, but it still felt like a world away from where I wanted to be. Every day I spent the morning sending in job applications, trolling the internet for more places to apply to, nagging every contact I had to see if they had heard of any openings. There were a couple of interviews but they were weeks apart and it was becoming obvious that none of them were going to work out. I started applying for local retail part time jobs as well, just to get some cash coming in but with the unemployment market the way it was they knew better than to hire a recent college graduate who was trying everything they could to get their “dream job.”

Needless to say, it wasn’t long before the depression set in. My aunt and uncle were amazing and so generous during this time, but I still felt separated from all of my friends back home and I knew no one in the place I wanted to be. There were one or two people from college living in LA but if I was being honest, their success while I was struggling to figure out exactly what I wanted to do just made everything more frustrating. I felt so alone.

Then I made the most important decision that I’ve made since moving to the west coast. I decided to take an intro-level improv class at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theater. At first I naively thought I could take one class, prove to be an improv messiah and be hired as Amy Poehler’s assistant before the whole thing was over, or at least get a hook up for a page job at NBC – not to mention it’d force me out of the house and into the city for three hours a week. Of course, I’m still waiting for my call from Amy but what I did find will be more instrumental in my success than any job interview or fancy contact will ever be. I found my tribe.

Suddenly I was surrounded by people exactly like me. They were all at varying points on the road to being able to pay rent by entertaining people, but we were all traveling together. They were people who cared about being funny. About performing. About writing. And as we learned to “Yes, and…” and listen together, we began to care about each other. Improv is entirely about support, after all. It’d still be another two months before I found employment, but taking that class and making those friends gave me a whole new outlook on my journey in Los Angeles. I felt a renewed energy and motivation. I listened to their stories and soaked up their wisdom. I went to their shows and clapped the loudest. For the first time in almost a year since I uprooted my life to go after this ridiculous dream, I felt like I belonged here.

Last summer when comedian/writer Katie Dippold released her first written feature length movie The Heat, her old friend and fellow comedian Chris Gethard wrote an essay about it, and how Katie had been a fundamental part of finding his own tribe.

Now maybe you think you have a shot at being a creative person who pays their rent by being creative. Maybe you’re scared to go for it, like I once was. Maybe you have something you want to do and you don’t know if you can really do it. My suggestion, based on experience, is to find someone else who might be uncertain of themselves, and be brave enough to tell them what you see in them. Be brave enough to hear about the belief they have in you. Be the lighter fluid for someone else, and let them fan your flames too. Find your tribe.

Finding your tribe is not at all about finding the people who are the best connections to get you to the next level. No, those are contacts and you should keep them separate. Your tribe are the first people you call when you land the big job because they were the people you cried to all the times you didn’t. Your tribe are the people who tell you that you’re being an idiot and you need to focus when you blow off a writing a deadline. They are the people that pick you up and take you to the movies the morning after you’ve had your heart broken to give you something else to think about. Your tribe are the people that hold your hand when things are messy and they are the ones that clap the loudest when all of it becomes clear.

After that first class I started taking more and over the past year I’ve been steadily adding more and more people to the tribe. This advice isn’t just for creative people because it’s not just creative people that need support. Everyone participating in life needs a tribe. So do yourself a favor and look at the people you spend the majority of your time with. If any of them make you feel less than deserving of all the things you want, tell them to beat it. Make the conscious effort to surround yourself with people that not only support you, but have the strength and integrity to call you out when you’re being ridiculous. As Oprah said, you need the people who will ride the bus before they’ll ride the limo. These people are your magic potion, your cheat sheet, they’re the key thing you need to get you to where you want to go.

If you’re in need of finding the right people for your tribe, take a risk and put yourself out there. You can follow my footsteps and take a class. Or you could join a book club. Peruse MeetUps.com for people that follow your interests. Put yourself in a room with people you don’t know but who have a common interest or goal and see what happens. And don’t disqualify the internet as a great place for meeting those people. Message boards and social media sites are great ways to meet people you otherwise wouldn’t have who share your passions and can be a great resource as you start to figure yourself  out. 

Find your tribe. Find your happiness. Find you.

Thursday Morning Melody: Me And You Grandma

It’s entirely possible that with a week left til Christmas, you’re already tired of hearing every version of “Jingle Bells” imaginable on the radio.
We have the solution.

Erin and MeLissa are a pair of comedians who sing songs and tell jokes in Los Angeles by way of Nashville, TN. This Christmas, they released their newest song, “Me and You Grandma”. It is a tribute to the most under appreciated holiday date you can have: your grandmother. She buys you things. She knows a thing or two about costume jewelry. She doesn’t care how many cookies you eat. That’s love.

So pause your Bing Crosby playlist.
Listen to a little bit of Erin and MeLissa.
Call your grandma.

If you need more Erin and MeLissa, visit their website, listen to their songs on Soundcloud, and follow them on Twitter or Facebook. You won’t regret it. (And we’re not just saying do it because MeLissa is part of our team, but because it’s going to make your life better and filled with more joy).

What do you think of the video? Who are you most excited to see this holiday season? Tell us in the comments below! 

Memories, Nostalgia and a Loss of Innocence

President John F. KennedyFall is a tough time of year for me. It’s a hard thing to admit, as so many people love the autumn change of season. For me, the loss of colour and beauty, as the trees shed their leaves, coupled with the darkness of shorter days, has always been personally challenging. The fall is also a constant reminder for me of where my health journey all began.

November 22, 1963. A day everyone remembers as the day John F. Kennedy was assassinated. The whole world mourned America’s “loss of innocence.” For me, it became a pivotal day. A day that changed my life — forever. As a world, we mourned a collective loss of innocence. That day, I experienced my own personal loss of innocence. A loss that would in many ways, inform the rest of my life.

As a junior high student, vice-president of the student council at the time, I’d been suffering for several years with undiagnosable health issues that had me subjected to doctor after doctor, test after test, with a predicted, yet unlikely, prognosis that I was a “perfectionist.” I was down to a shocking 85 pounds and was considered deathly ill. Although the perfectionist diagnosis was possibly the truth, it probably wasn’t a viable diagnosis for the physical symptoms. Through years of seeking and exploration, I know now, the two are absolutely connected.

On November 22, 1963, my father, Louis, picked me up from school and we talked about the loss of president Kennedy and what it meant to us all. It had only been briefly mentioned at school that day, from my memory. Perhaps that memory is lost forever, as my father then announced to me, with great relief in his voice, that the newest doctor I had been taken to finally found “something.” My large and small bowel had somehow twisted themselves in a huge knot, an unusual “never before seen” phenomenon, that was later written up in a prestigious medical journal.

The gastroenterologist was referring me to one of Toronto’s top surgeons who was going to “fix” me. Cut date was scheduled over the Christmas holidays and they assured my parents, who had already spent more than enough troubled days and nights, that I would be “good as new” afterward. If only life were that simple.

The experience was horrific for me. That’s putting it mildly. Waking up with a tube down my nose and throat (the infamous nasogastric tube) is still so real for me that it set the stage for how I would move through the traditional medical system for the rest of my life.

My parents didn’t really ask a lot of questions before the surgery, as they were just grateful that someone had found something. I believe that is the key moment in my life, as young as I was, that I vowed to always ask as many questions as I needed to, to be prepared and get answers so I’d know what to expect. It’s also possible I asked a lot of questions before this. Funny thing how we create a story about a memory and it becomes our “truth.” This became one of the stories in my new book, Confessions of a Middle-Aged Hippie.

That day is only one of many in my life that is not only nostalgic, but one where the memories are so alive, it’s almost as if they happened yesterday. There are other key world events that create the same instant recall in me too. I happened to be in Los Angeles with my family in August of 1962, when Marilyn Monroe died. My brother Niel says he believes he remembers that we could see the funeral procession from the window in the restaurant we were eating in. That, I don’t remember.

Some years later, my best traveling buddy Sharon and I were in Los Angeles spending a fun summer. It was August 1969. Then the Manson murders shocked and rocked the world and being in L.A. immediately ceased to be a carefree summer holiday. These are two trips I have never forgotten. Precise moments in time, which created indelible memories.

Years later, when my daughter’s television series Ready or Not brought us to New York to film promos for its American network, we were comfortably settled in the studio enjoying taping the segments, when we felt what seemed to be an earthquake shake the foundation of the building. Everyone was visibly rattled, as there was no logical explanation for what this possibly could have been. It was February 26,1993, the morning of the day the first attempted World Trade Center bombing happened. Luckily, the bombing was somewhat unsuccessful. It was a very unsettling time for the world, maybe a forewarning of a more tragic time, with a much more devastating event to come.

The following year, on May 19,1994, my daughter Lani and I were back in New York and heard the sad news that Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis had succumbed to lymphoma, which had only been diagnosed in January of that year. We joined the world and mourned this iconic lady.

As I revisited my life to write Confessions, these stories surfaced as very vivid memories. Somehow the synchronistic timing of my life and my travels, with these key historical events, seemed to have left a permanent impression on my memory. I believe that many people remember exactly where they were and what they were doing for these same events. The day John Lennon died is another one of those events. Do you remember where you were and what you were doing?

On this 50th-year anniversary of JFK’s death, listening to people’s stories of where they were when they heard he had died, and the impact it had on their life, was incredibly moving. For me, it brought up both the collective and personal memory of that day again.

It’s interesting to look at what we remember. I’m blessed to have a remarkable 97-year-old mother, Lil, whose memory is still so accurate, she astounds people. She’s an inspiration and shows what is possible. Our lives are made up of memories. As a curious observer of human nature, I am continually amazed and fascinated by the way we spin the stories around these memories. Facts are the truth. Stories are the colour that bring them to life. That’s what is so amazing about creating your own individual life. There are so many unformed memories yet to be lived.

What are the memories that still live on in you?

Visit me at: www.beverleygolden.com  or follow me on Twitter:  @goldenbeverley

From Intent.com: Stop Striving and Refocus.

tower I live in Los Angeles, City of Angels. Aside from the angels, it’s home to entrepreneurs, celebrities, athletes, geniuses, doctors, the super rich. If magazines are a battleground of comparison for America, the people in those pictures walk around Los Angeles in real life.

I am 5 ft. tall. My dad is from Honduras so the likelihood that I will ever be tall and blonde is zero. I didn’t go to an Ivy League college. I don’t even know that my college would qualify to be labeled by any kind of plant life. I say all that to say that it’s very easy to get wrapped up in what everyone else has and who they are. It’s easy to overlook what I have to offer and that while I will likely never be on the cover of Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition, I am no less a unique work of art, the only one of my kind now and forever.

This week my intention is to stop striving and refocus.

I want to commit the 10 minutes before I walk out the door for the day
meditating on that concept.
I want to focus on being a better human.
I want to appreciate what I have to work with.
I want to take the focus off things I have no control over (other people, places or things) and not make them my competition or enemy.
I want to stop striving for perfection or to be first in line or someone’s choice because that’s not the point of anything.

All this striving to get ahead? It’s pointless if it doesn’t get us somewhere good. So I plan on refocusing this week.
And you? How are you striving? What are you striving after?

FYI- Every Monday Intent.com features intents set by our users in our weekly newsletter so you can get involved! Next week is about fantasies so head to Intent.com and post in our Inspiration category. And if you have a project or idea you’d like to spread the word about Email MeLissa@Intent.com! We want to help!

Thursday Morning Melody: Say It Again

We can’t tell you enough how much we love Mariah McManus. Plain and simple. This California girl is equal parts indie pop star, Celtic folk singer and the cutest dollface around. Her album “Nice to Meet You” has been out a couple of years but it’s stayed on repeat for us since we got a hold of it. It’s full of heart, enchanting melodies and  occasionally gut-wrenching lyrics written by an old soul.

NPR Music
said “At 19, Mariah McManus has the kind of voice that L.A. producers pull all-nighters to replicate. Twinkling xylophone and resonant piano intersperse with 808 in “Say It Again,” a love song which nuzzles somewhere between Taylor Swift’s earnest puppy love and The Fray’s “Over My Head,” but without all the mess.”

We agree, NPR.

Think about the last time you fell in love. Then play her video for “Say It Again” like a soundtrack. Trust us. Then stop by iTunes and get yourself a copy of this brilliant little album.

 

Visit Mariah’s website or follow her on Twitter.
Find out when she’s playing and then be there. You won’t regret it.

***

Have a song that inspires you and want to see it featured in our Thursday Morning Melody column? Submit it in the comments below! 

Stumbling Onto The Path of Awakening

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My path to awakening began in 2005, when during a time of major transition and deep personal sadness, my mother suggested I might find relief with yoga. She put me in touch with her friend, Grace, a yoga instructor at a fitness center in Indianapolis where I wound up taking my first yoga class. Five years later, on an afternoon lunch break, a co-worker introduced me to meditation for the first time. Yoga and meditation would continue to flow in and out of my life like waves in the ocean. I would dabble here and there and then get distracted and return to the way things had always been. These practices were nothing more than nice things to do sometimes if I was in the mood, but I didn’t feel connected to them in any meaningful way. They were more like novelties.

Two years passed by and in April 2012 I sought a Jyotish (Vedic astrology) reading from Swati Jr*. Her words didn’t make sense to me logically back then, but something about what she shared did feel true on an emotional level. Like she was whispering to parts of me that were hidden away from myself.

Six months later, on October 1st, I was lured into Moksha Yoga LA by a $40 special membership rate advertised in bright paint across the huge windows of their studio. I remember feeling overwhelmed by the heat on that first day, but I didn’t stop. I pushed through all of the sensations that come along with participating in a hot yoga class and left the studio feeling a bit out of body.

My general perspective of everything felt lighter and more expansive. It seemed to me like I was in on a secret and the people walking and driving by me didn’t appear to know what I now knew. I just felt a strange happiness that’s hard to explain in words and I couldn’t wait to go back. By my second or third class, I distinctly remember getting the sense that I was being pulled towards something that would change my life.

Thirty-one days after that first class, my life appeared to implode. Within the span of one month, my live-in boyfriend of two years ended our relationship, I was forced to find a new place to live and before I’d even had time to unpack the boxes, I was given the news that I was being laid off from my job. Merry Christmas. Happy New Year. Fuck. My. Life.

The main thing that kept me sane during this time was my then brand new yoga practice. I felt something when I was in the studio everyday. Something that told me to keep coming back. I listened to that feeling and stuck with a near daily practice.

During the five months I was unemployed, I took off on a lot of hikes through Griffith Park, abused my library card and booked a last minute trip to Bali and The Gili Islands, where I traveled solo for three weeks and experienced a sense of mindfulness for the first time in my life.

I didn’t know at the time that what I was experiencing was mindfulness, but when I look back, I recognize that that’s what it was. Slipping under the surface of the water off the coast of Gili Trawangan, snorkeling for the first time in my life and feeling rolls of amazement take over my being as I laid eyes on a fantastical underwater world. Willing myself to stay present in the indescribable perfection I was feeling in those moments. Overcome with gratitude as I experienced the feeling of something new, something absolutely, mind-boggling new, for the first time that I could ever remember in my adult life.

Sleeping when I was tired, eating when I was hungry, listening to my instinct and sharing myself with the people around me without thought or reservation. I traveled with a backpack and my yoga mat, stopping to breathe in the air around me, talk with strangers, wander without purpose and just be. I wrote and cried and listened and laughed and swam and kissed and danced and rode bikes and practiced yoga, but most importantly, I let go of time and other people and expectations. I just was.

When I came home to Los Angeles I felt different. Really different. And really good.

Then at the end of June in 2013, I began meditating everyday. A few weeks later, I participated in a 21-day meditation challenge hosted by Deepak Chopra and that’s when things really started becoming more clear for me. I was transitioning into a new awareness of my life and I have never felt more certain that I am living exactly the life I’m supposed to be living right now.

Since this time, I’ve devoted almost every energy to exploring the possibilities with meditation because I’ve become fascinated by the universe living inside me. Also, I feel as if someone wiped a layer away from my heart and now I’m capable of feeling the world instead of just living through it.

I read books, watch videos, seek out people who practice regularly, ask questions, sign up for seminars and classes, and look for opportunities to learn more about higher consciousness at every moment of the day. Discovering and understanding myself and the energy field we all exist within, make up, and move through, feels like it’s my reason for being here. It feels like I’m supposed to be collecting this information so that I can share it and talk about it and live it fully.

***

Aubrey is passionate about living life all the way and believes that a daily meditation practice can help anyone move into a totally engaged state of being alive. She published a book about her old life and is now busy living her new life so that she can write a follow-up about how awesome the world becomes when you’re finally able to slow down and feel into your body. She creates free guided meditations about once a week and you can connect with her on Twitter @MokshaDestiny

If you’re interested, I send out free guided meditations about once-a-week. Sign up here!

Throwback Thursday: 8 Major US Cities As Seen by Your Great-Grandparents

Here are some of the most iconic American cities, now bustling centers of commerce, entertainment, fashion, and media. They were important in these regards back in the day, too, but by the looks of these photos you’d never know it!

All of these images come from about the late 19th century, which you can tell by the horse-drawn carriages and old-fashioned clothing styles. We live in the 21st century, surrounded by all kinds of cultures and styles and immersed in contemporary issues and concerns. It’s important, though, to remember where we came from, and that we are part of a long line of individuals who have lived in, experienced, and help built this country we call home.

And what’s more, these photographs are just so darn precious. Take a look!

Boston – Newspaper Row, Washington StreetOld-Photos-of-Big-Cities-30

Philadelphia – Broad Street

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San Francisco – Bay Bridge

Soma1$bay-bridge-aerial-1935

New York – Grand Central Station and Hotel Manhattan

Old-Photos-of-Big-Cities-32

Chicago – Wabash Avenue

Old-Photos-of-Big-Cities-18

Detroit – Woodward Avenue

Old-Photos-of-Big-Cities-9

Los Angeles – South Broadway

KYIRHJ1KRLIJGAXFYIYKJB68V2VMJY1-1

Washington D.C. – Ninth Street

Old-Photos-of-Big-Cities-11

And one bonus from New York… (Wall Street!)

Old-Photos-of-Big-Cities-20

Images sourced: Fludit and Los Angeles Past

Elephant in the Room: Inspiring You to Seize the Day

7f62488974a669b22b50c25272727cccDear Lovelies,

We don’t have a letter this week and I thought I’d try something a little different. Something sort of extraordinary has happened that has inspired me and I’d like to share it with all of you.

I’ve been a writer all my life. Not always professionally, but a good pen (preferably blue) with college ruled notebook paper has been where I’ve felt home since I was a child. I’ve gone through several evolutions with how writing would fit into my life – taking turns as a journalist, wannabe novelist, “hobby”-est – you name it and I tried it/thought about it/didn’t make it through. It was in a dark movie theater in Queens that it all sort of clicked into place – screenwriting. After all that time it was strange how easy it was to see that’s what I needed, that’s where home truly was. It just made sense.

So I packed up my bags and I moved west. It took a year to get my feet on the ground and off of generous family members and friends’ couches, but I finally found a job that would allow me to have my own place, afford to live and give me time to keep chasing the dream. I started taking classes and soon the dream started evolving. I developed a new-found confidence on stage and performing started edging its way in to my frequent success fantasies. I found the story I wanted to write, knew the part I wanted to play, all I had to do was get out my pen, put it to paper and write my way to where I truly felt I belonged.

Of course, especially in this town, self-doubt creeped in with the new desires. Do you know how many aspiring screenwriters there are in Los Angeles? More than you can count, and those are just the ones that managed to make it into city limits. And acting? I had no experience outside of high school drama. I sure as hell didn’t look like someone meant to be in front of a camera. The doubt made me bitter and negative. Even though I had a great job that afforded me so much I felt miserable because it wasn’t exactly what I wanted. I hated myself for being so ungrateful, for not being more motivated, for not working harder. Maybe I didn’t want it as badly as I thought, and just that idea made me sick to my stomach.

I began bargaining with the ordering forces of the universe, begging for a sign that I was doing the right thing. I wanted it so badly but the obstacles seemed insurmountable. I just needed some help. I was already on the trail, I just needed a magic dose of courage to put on my shoes and really chase what I wanted.

Then I heard from a friend that she was leaving her steady job to pursue her passion project full-time (you’ll actually be hearing about it quite soon!). I was in awe of her courage – the journey she is about to embark on will be challenging and daunting and beautiful and will save lives. She said she knew it was what she wanted for a while but it took a few other things to push her into taking the plunge, and now that it was here she was terrified but invigorated. She hadn’t worked so hard on anything in a long time. The passion was evident – it radiated off of her. And while being so happy for her, I found myself feeling jealous. I wanted to feel that passion again, as I had when I was sitting in that movie theater, when I first moved to Los Angeles, so sure and so excited.

That’s when I remembered a scene from the Steve Carrell movie, “Evan Almighty.” It is mostly a physical comedy about a man who is tasked with building an ark by God himself. In the midst of the madness, Evan’s wife, played by Lauren Graham, gets some unsolicited advice from a kind stranger that has always stuck with me.

We are not just handed the answers, but given the opportunity to find them for ourselves. My friend was creating her own opportunity, and my envious feelings stemmed purely from me waiting around for someone to hand me my dreams with a bow wrapped around them. She stopped floundering or wondering and decided to just do it.

So this week I say let’s all take a page from her book. Let’s stop waiting for answers in signs or feeling sorry for ourselves when our lives don’t take the immediate direction we want them to. See each turn as an opportunity and take it. Find your passion and follow it.

Tell me how it goes lovelies. I’ll see you again in two weeks, but as for now I have to head out to get a box of red hair dye, a gym membership and new box of blue pens.

Best wishes,
Cora

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