Thursday, June 27, 2013

My dream (repeat from my facebook but I want this here)

I had a dream about Samuel Clemens the other night.  In the dream I was sitting with an old typewriter staring at a blank peace of paper.  There were four walls around me, two tall windows on both sides of the desk.  There was a glass filled with something that may or may not have been lemonade as I did not drink it.  I am just assuming that is what it was because of the color and what appeared to be pulp at the edge of the glass.  I was taking in the room and what it was supposed to mean in the dream.  I hear someone walk into the room and turn towards them.

            “You haven’t written in a while,” he said, cigar in mouth and smoke encircling his head.

            “Nope,” I said looking back at the paper. 

            He pulled up a chair out of thin air.  This high back chair was covered in the finest fabric and it was beautifully crafted.  He sat down proud, his long legs then stretching out in front of him.  A table appeared beside him and he placed the cigar down.  His grand fireplace appeared next and suddenly we were in his home in Hartford Connecticut.

            My chair was now gone and I was sitting on the floor before him.  Eager, as I am sure his children were, to hear his story.

            “The key to a good story is to always start, the finishing part is up to you.” 

            I looked at him and frowned, “if I don’t finish, no one will hear my stories.”

            “You did, you know your stories and sometimes that is all that counts.”

            “I just feel like I am failing.  I was always told that being a story teller was my gift.”

            “You know your problem, you argue too much.”  I looked at him and felt baffled for a moment.  “You argue too much.  You just want to be right.  You want to be a failure with writing so you are going to argue with me that you are.”

            I felt tears streaming down my face, not because I was just scolded by Samuel Clemens but because he was right.  I argue my failures to everyone.  He looked at me and smiled.  He put his hand on my cheek and wiped away the tears.  “My dear, you know what your first step to being the writer everyone else says you are is going to be?”

            I was afraid to even ask at this point but I did.  “What?”
            “Start listening, you understand human ego and humanity at such a profound level.  In that way you remind me of myself.  The only problem you have is you forget to listen.  You constantly get praised for what you have written, done and yet it is the negative that you focus on.  You ask people for their criticism but don’t listen to the positive things that are said to you.  What is it you tell people in your groups, something about focusing on the positive?  So maybe you should start listening, to yourself, to others.  To take the negative comments as gospel, take them as a challenge.  If I took every negative comment made about me I think I sincerely would have stopped writing before I began.  Truth is, you need to start listening, take the positive and embrace it.  Do not take the negative as the guideline that you should just stop doing what you love.”  He paused and the smoke began to fill the room, the smell of the cigar smoke thick and strong.  He smiled at me and said, “I believe in you.”  As the smoke swirled around the room faded out.

            I was staring at the paper and on the paper was written this.  What you are reading and I knew when I woke from my dream I had to write some thing that looked like that moment.  Some sort of piece of the conversation I had with him.  Whether he visited in spirit to give me a pep talk or it was simply a dream it was true.  All of what he said to me about me was true and for that I am grateful. 

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Will you remember me?

I had a dream last night that I was a child. 
My adult self came to me and I, the child asked, "will you remember me?"
I, my adult self nodded and said, "of course."
Truth is we often don't remember our child selves.
This is why so many times I work on reconnecting the child self to the adult self.

What is the point?
 Joe says, "I mean really who cares about the child, I am all grown up now.  I don't need to be that snotty nosed kid who played in the mud anymore, in fact, I can't stand mud."

Okay there is no Joe but the point of the story is to bring about thought.

What is the point of that child in you?

To keep your sense of wonderment alive.
To keep your playful nature and joy in laughter bubbling at the surface.
To keep your sense of belonging in this world.
To seek joy in the simple things in this world.  SIMPLE THINGS.

I remember when I was little a grasshopper, BIG ONE hopped right onto my leg.  I sat and looked at him intently and watched his big eyes look around.  I feel in love with that grasshopper for that very moment and I wanted to know what he was thinking and I wanted to see what the world looked like from his perspective so after he left I layed on my belly and I looked up at the world around me, if the trees seem that big to me how big to the grasshopper?  If the sky seems so out of reach to me how out of reach for that grasshopper? 

Now as I am older I wonder, does the grasshopper even care about how little he is in this big world?  Perhaps he is content to munch on his grass and hop along on the blades.  Looking in the dew droplets in the morning and sipping on sweet nectar.  Perhaps he has a simple mind where his life is simply that of a grasshopper and I perhaps should just be content living the life of a human.

I wonder sometimes, if my child self really maybe did get it.  I realized I was part of something greater.  It wasn't that I knew what that greater thing was but I knew that I was important and just as important as I was that grasshopper.  Each thing, each part of this existence is important. 

Being connected with your child you can laugh at the little things and rejoice in life.  It isn't always perfect but it is perfectly imperfect.  Find amazement again and do not judge what you do not live.  Do not judge that friend or that enemy of yours.  Respect the differences and know they have their place in this world.  Remember, everything has a place and embrace the child inside again!

Giggle until 2 am
Imagine riding a dragon to China
Imagine digging to china
Pretend you are a pirate on an adventure while stuck in traffic, you can blame the slow movement on your sails.

Have fun again and realize, life is pretty amazing.

How does your garden grow?

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

"Yes and...." Improv 101

Where have I been?
I have been taking classes for Improv. If you have seen things like, Whose Line is it Anyway or even SNL then you know what Improv is. So here is my story about Improv classes and how it ties into spiritual selves and our spiritual garden we try to cultivate and grow all the time.
In the great state of Connecticut we have a great group of well trained improvests (is that a word) in a group called Sea Tea Improv. So let me tell you a little about how I got to join this class and learn an important message from spirit.
As many of you know I do not believe that our lives are left to chance and I truly believe that we are guided in directions that our best for us. So how did this crazy idea of taking Improv class fall upon my lap? What drove me over the edge to dare to put myself out in front of a group of people I didn't know and open myself up to the possibility of being around negative people but also very positive people? What brought me to Pratt Street in Hartford, CT anyway?
My laughter....
I lost my laughter approximately 6 years ago. Now this is not to say I NEVER laughed, more like rarely laughed. I laughed at my son at the time but television held no humor, unless I was watching Whose Line is it Anyway. I spent years searching for my laughter, and really thought I just was suffering from a flat affect. Perhaps I was so depressed I couldn't laugh anymore.
Fast forward to about a year ago I decided on a whim to go sign up for Sea Tea Improv's free show at the City Steam Brewery in Hartford. It is a small stage but they have great free shows, you buy food and drinks and well that is it. I don't even remember how I heard about it but I signed myself, husband best friend Dori, her husband Kurt up for a table and we went. I laughed again.
Now I am not claiming they fixed my laughter or my funny that had started about two years prior when I started to do my Gallery readings. My galleries are more like a comedy show at times anyway. So what happened? I was led to this show and I laughed and I had fun again. FUN..... Spirit had a lesson in this somewhere for me. Maybe just to stop being so serious and have some fun, to let go again. FUN....
When this happened, as I usually do, I focused in on my target group (Sea Tea Improv) and kept getting their updates. I had a ton of them and didn't pay much attention to them until one day I saw this post, "Intro to Improv" a class. I thought that I want to be someone’s funny, I want to make someone laugh again. I mean I do it a lot with my job now but here I have a chance to get training with some amazing people and by one of my favorite improvers Greg L. So I went ahead and sent my $99.00 and committed myself to 4 Saturdays for the month of June to learn and hopefully laugh.
That is how I got to here, to this point. One of the first few things we learned was the fundamental principles. So here are the first two....
1. "Make your partner look good." In life how often do we complain about our partner or argue with them when they say, "I like xy and z" and we go, "that's stupid, xy and z suck and I prefer" or a million other reasons to fight. What if when someone said, "I am going to take a sky diving class," instead of saying, "wow you must be crazy, I would never take a sky diving class you could die." What if we said, "That is awesome, is this something you have always wanted to do?" You don't have to say, "That is awesome I will come along," unless you really want to of course.  This process of learning how to build someone up verses breaking them is difficult.  I mean don’t we need more people to think like us?  NO NO NO, we need people to be individuals and the hardest part of this life is letting people live the kind of lives they wish to.  Help build people up, make your friend or partner look good.  However, “DO NOT LIE TO THEM,” the old adage, if you have nothing nice to say then don’t say anything at all.  If you think they are being idiots you can say, “If that is your choice I hope you realize the potential outcomes.  I am hoping for the best for you of course.”
"I want to take every Improv class in the world."
"Well that is stupid, what a waste of money. What would you do with it anyway?"
How about….
"Hey that sounds like fun, let me know how it goes."
This goes into my thought process of, “always say something positive.” We don't have to like what people choose but it is their choice and even if the only thing we say is, "well that's your choice, good luck with that." That is enough, we are wishing them well. Of course if you say it sarcastically you are reverting to negative, say it with sincerity.
2. Yes and….    This is a fundamental part of Improv 101, so if your partner says, "We are on a flying elephant in Malaysia and are heading to India for vacation." You would say, "yes and I think this is the most awesome thing ever."  This was also fundamental in my training to work with Alzheimer’s and Dementia patients.  Once the 90 year old gentleman is in the thought process of waiting for his mother to pick him up for ice cream you can not break his spirit by saying, “dude you are freaking 90 years old, your Mom is dead.”  You need to support his story and turn it towards the goal you are trying to achieve.  “Yes and we need to get you ready to g go with Mom so lets go eat dinner and wait.” 
Now if in Improv someone said, "I am going to rob a bank," you would say in your head yes and then add, "I will grab the water guns." (That is more fun than a real gun right?) The point being is that you are adding to rather than subtracting from. You can't create a story if your characters constantly disagree.
Person A: "Look a plane."
Person B: "No it's a bird."
Person A: "The sky is blue."
Person B: "No it's kind of grey."
Now if you had a friend like Person B I don't think this friendship would last very long. The point is that we should stop trying to contradict each other.
"Honey, can you please tri fold the towels and put them in the cabinet so the rounded side is sticking out?"
What is the better response?
"That is stupid, what does it matter how the towels are put away?"
"I will try to remember to do it that way. I know how much it means to you."
See, who has the less confrontational relationship. If your spouse asks you to do something that you think is ridiculous stop and think.  Think, "Why do I think this is ridiculous?" It's simply because that is not the way you do it. Because you don't think it needs to be done that way but your partner does. What is more important to you your relationship or your pride?
So next time you are ready to negate something your partner (friend, lover, colleague, boss, or any communication with others or self) think about what you are going to say. Are you going to lift them up or try to break them down?  Is there a good reason to disagree? 
“Honey I am going to kill myself.”
That is appropriate but what about the small things.
“I wrote this poem what do you think about it?”
“You have a lot of spelling errors here, and this line doesn’t make any sense.”
“I can see you were pretty emotional when you wrote this, it’s going to be a great finished piece, I definitely feel the emotion.”
“Hey Sue would you mind just typing these forms up they are due in two hours for corporate.”
“That is your responsibility not mine, I have my own work to do.”
Yes those forms are due soon and “Joe I would love to help but I have to finish up the report that they want by noon.  If I finish it ahead of time and think I can help I will come find you.” 
Think about how you speak to people. 
I am tired of constantly being broken down by others and myself.  I have developed a bit of a combative communication style at times. I tend to tell people the negative things that may happen. I tend to point out to people what they have done wrong.  I don't just do this with people I know but myself.
So next time you communicate, really listen to how you sound. Do you build people up or break them? If you don't agree with them is there a way to say it with out deflating their hopes. "Honey I know you really want to buy 100 lotto tickets to win the money, I just think if you saved that money you might be able to get to that dream vacation faster." Hear what they are saying but don't burst their bubbles, offer them hope and help.
Make your partner look good.
Sooo how does your spiritual garden grow?

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Hello, this is who I am

So I wrote this on facebook and I thought I would share it here.

 Yah, that is it, I don't get to finish things and it isn't because lack of trying but other things I then see I want to do. I feel like perhaps there is a great deal of me letting people tell me I will fail so it becomes an instant failure. Do I keep taking comedy classes? YES. Do I follow through with writing and readings, yup. You know yesterday in front of 14 people I did not know I told them my job was a Medium. It was brave and scary but I did it. I am who I am and the more I deny it the more I repress who it is I am meant to be. I am not a daycare provider alone, my real job starts when I help people heal, when I make them laugh. I didn't ask to be who I am this is who I was guided to be.

This statement sums up what is going on in my life.  I started taking improv classes, though I appear to be failing miserably, I am enjoying it.  ;-)  I am not that bad but it isn't stand up which I would excel in.  Improv starts with the truth so now, I have to start with the truth.

The truth is who I am, who I am supposed to be and why is it when people ask what I do I fear telling them?

Why is it that I still fear ridicule? 

I don't understand what holds me back but I know that from this point forward, I will try to remember, the truth first.

After all like the teacher Greg said, "truth is stranger than fiction and often times funnier."