Posted in Life, Spirituality, TV, Universe, Writing

A Year Ago Today, I Took A Chance On My Dreams

Exactly 1 year ago today I decided it was time to get back to my dreams of being a writer. I spent 15 years working as a photographer to pay the bills but deep down, I always wanted to get back to being a writer. The opportunity was there, I just had to take it.

I work for the oldest Entertainment magazine–American Cinematographer started in 1920. Yes, I am the photo editor but I do write the news portion of the magazine. After my father died, all I could think about was writing. In fact, all I could think about was writing about the paranormal investigation docu-series Ghost Adventures. All I had to do was pitch my story idea. What was the worst that could happen? If they said no, I would just go right back to the day-to-day of being the photo editor.

It seemed simple but I am an over-thinker. I had to have the perfect pitch. After all, I was basically asking the magazine permission to cover a reality series; we don’t cover reality shows. Being who I am, never doing things the easy way, I wasn’t even planning on pitching a normal reality series. I was pitching a paranormal investigation reality series.

My friends were actually shocked that I didn’t pitch something Star Wars related. But I couldn’t fully explain it without sounding like a crazy person (though my closest friends are used to my crazy ideas). Months prior, I had read Zak Bagans book, “I am Haunted: Living Life Through the Dead” but I was the one who wound up haunted; haunted with the idea of writing a story about this show. It had to be this show and it had to be at the right time. (Divine timing at its finest).

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I searched through our magazine schedule and noticed that April 2016 was set as the digital issue. The Ghost Adventures guys use digital cameras. We had Batman v. Superman planned as the main feature. They were currently filming in Detroit. Zak went to film school in Detroit. I am from Detroit. Plus this was our NAB issue. The NAB show is held in Las Vegas. Three out of four of the Ghost Adventures guys live in Las Vegas. With all these synchronicities, it was clear that this was the perfect issue for my story.

So after weeks of pep talks from my friends and trying to get ahold of the show’s publicist, I was finally ready to make my pitch. I would talk about the evolution of their camera equipment from their documentary through twelve seasons of the show. My stomach was in knots. I was so nervous. I had convinced myself of all the reasons as to why they would say no but I had to do this for myself. So I walked into my managing editor’s office, I pitched my story and he said yes!!!

Yesterday, I was back at my Alma Mater, the University of Southern California. The School of Cinematic Arts (it was cinema-television 20 years ago when I was a freshman there) was holding a ceremony for the Haskell Wexler Endowed Chair in Documentary. I had the privilege of knowing Haskell and was honored to be there supporting his wife Rita as well as representing his ASC family along with other members and AC staff. When I went to check in, they had stacks of the American Cinematographer April Issue (which later became a tribute issue to Haskell and fellow ASC member Vilmos Zsigmond) sitting on the table for attendees. I saw some of my former professors and former classmates reading a magazine that contained my Ghost Adventures article.

It was so surreal to be standing there on the campus where 20 years ago I was a freshman who dreamed of becoming a writer and I was holding in my hands my published article. 20 years ago I was writing essays about cinematography and now I have published articles about cinematography.

I have yet to fully understand exactly why I had to write about Ghost Adventures but I am so glad that I overcame my fears, quieted my mind and pitched that story to my editor a year ago.

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Posted in Life, Relationships, Spirituality, Universe, Writing

So Much Has Changed

It dawned on me last night that I have really neglected this blog and my personal challenge to try something new every day. I thought I would scroll through old posts for inspiration to get back into blogging mode. Instead of inspiration, I found frustration. My life has drastically changed over the past year that I don’t even recognize the woman who wrote about twin flames and the like. I almost want to go back in time and shake her, ask her “what are you thinking?” But deep down I know that everything in my life happens for a reason and every experience has made me into the person I am today. Circumstances ripped the rose colored glasses from my face and I feel like I can finally see things correctly; perhaps for the first time in my life.

The man from my past, the one I believed to be my “twin flame,” my “Mr. Big,” is no longer a factor in my life. Yes, there was a connection between us but it wasn’t meant to be worked out in this lifetime. He served as a lesson–a painful lesson but a lesson nonetheless. Now he is out of my life and it is for the best. I won’t be wasting anymore time on romantic notions or spiritual cosmic connections or whatever I was writing about in regards to him. It was just another chapter in my book of life.

Over the past ten months or so, I have really re-evaluated my relationships, friendships and just where my life is headed in general. This has been the most difficult year of my life and unfortunately, in difficult times, you see who your real friends are and what truly matters the most in life. I don’t have everything figured out but I am working on it.

One thing that I do know for sure is that I want to get back to writing. I started back in September when I pitched my first story for the magazine where I am currently employed as the photo editor. I always wanted to be a writer, not a photographer. Being a photographer paid the bills when I was laid off from a writing job back in 2002 and it just seemed like a path I had to take to get to where I am now. That article is currently on the news stands in the April issue of American Cinematographer. So far I have received positive responses to the article so hopefully this is the first step toward changing my life into what I want it to be. Stay tuned.

Posted in Family, Life, Universe, Writing

A Gift From My Dad

2016-03-03 14.33.17Nine months ago today, my Dad passed away. I won’t say he died. I can’t say it because it isn’t true, at least for me. His body died but his soul did not. He is still here. I feel him every day. And if I ever doubt that his energy is not present, he gives me a sign, a gift to remind me that he is still here.

I recently wrote a post about how I felt lost without him. I did not know who I was without him. Hours after I wrote that blog entry, I was given several clear signs of who I am and where I am headed. My article for our April issue was now a bullet on our cover. My managing editor told me how much he loved my article and that I should feel free to pitch additional stories in the future. So I pitched an idea in that moment (an idea that has a tie in to my father) and was told we could reach out to the studio/network in regards to making that my next story. I immediately called my Mom and we both agreed this had to be Dad guiding me. And if there were any doubts, events last night further proved to me that my Dad is guiding me back to my goals and dreams.

Last night, I decided to make a trip up to my storage space and finally put away my Christmas decorations. Normally I would just drop off my Christmas storage containers and leave but a gut feeling told me to reorganize some of the boxes I had piled in the back corner. I pulled out some boxes and noticed a file container on the second shelf way in the back corner of the storage unit. It looked like one of the containers I used for storing my tax information. I just had a feeling it was important so I made my way back there to retrieve it. To my surprise, it was filled with all my writing samples from high school, college and my years working as a publicist. I even found my acting headshots from college. I cleared a space and sat down on the floor, reminiscing about my past and a time when I considered myself a writer.

I flipped through the different files and stopped when I spotted a blue folder labeled “Grandpa.” I knew it contained a story I wrote in high school about the day my grandfather died of a sudden heart attack. I pulled out the folder and immediately started crying when I saw my father’s handwriting. For months I had been searching for the letters I received from my Dad my freshman year of college. I thought they were at my parents’ house. I had no clue that I had them with me the entire time, in my storage space and with a story about the death of my Dad’s Dad. There they were, in this folder with the story and two writing awards I received—one for the “Grandpa” story and another for all the articles I wrote for my college newspaper “The Daily Trojan.” What a coincidence to find them all together.

So I read the letters, struggling through the tears. My Dad wrote these letters during my first few months at college. I had moved to thIMG_20160302_171925e other side of the country to follow my dreams and attend USC. The funny thing is that his advice in these letters applies to what I am struggling with today. He tells me he is proud of me and he misses me (but not to get cocky about it—my Dad was Han Solo). “I truly believe you know what you want to do.” And when it comes to my dreams and goals, his advice: “You just hang in there and go for what you want.”

He wrote me these letters almost 20 years ago. And for anyone who knew my Dad, writing was not his strong suit. One letter he wrote over a course of a week—adding the date each time he started writing again. It meant a great deal to me back then that he would take the time to write to me and it was like winning the lottery to find these letters now. I am once again at a point in my life where I need his advice and guidance. He found a way to give me the exact pep talk that I needed by putting these letters back into my hands. (Thanks, Daddy!)

Posted in Entertainment, Spirituality, TV, Universe

A Ghostly Book Adventure

20150314_204204I just finished reading “I am Haunted: Living Life Through the Dead” by Zak Bagans, producer and lead investigator for the television series Ghost Adventures on the Travel Channel. I have to say that this was by far the strangest experience I have ever had reading a book.

I have been a fan of Ghost Adventures for years. When I was teaching photography to high school students, every October I would teach the students how to create their own ghostly images through long exposure and the use of tripods. I would show clips from the television series to engage the students and aid with their storytelling process (we would pretend we were investigating hauntings at the high school). My former students still mention this show and the ghost photos assignment as a fond memory from their high school experience. So when I saw that Zak Bagans had penned an autobiography I knew I had to read it (though now I know this is actually his second book).

I guess I should also mention that I am an empathic intuitive medium. I have been seeing and talking to spirits since I was a kid. In recent years, I have been working on honing my skills to help myself and my loved ones (I don’t do readings for profit). In recent weeks, with the passing of my grandmother, my abilities have become stronger. Reading Zak’s book made me wonder if my sight was beginning to change once again or if my mind was playing tricks on me (extremely vivid imagination, perhaps).

I started reading the book late in the evening before bed (perhaps a mistake on my part). I could actually hear Zak’s voice in my head as if he were reading it to me. I could also relate to some of his stories in regards to his own sensitivities. (I didn’t know that he once lived in my hometown of Detroit). I was excited, thinking this was going to be a fun read since I was already connecting to the stories.

I have always been the type of reader who gets immersed in a book but rarely does that happen when I am reading an autobiography. With this book, the visuals really started to take over and I found myself in the locations as if I was alongside Zak, Aaron, Jay and Billy. I could see the location, smell the dankness at times, hear the sounds and feel the spirits–4D reading, in a sense. As I was pulled deeper into the stories and the locations, I could hear my own guides warning me about protection and dark entities. It would get so intense that I would have to stop reading and light some palo santo in my room for cleansing. This has never happened to me before.

This was all occurring the first night. I did my best to shake off the feelings so I could go to sleep. At 3:05 am, I woke to shadow figures in my room telling me they were there because of my connection to Zak Bagans. I don’t have a connection to Zak. I watch his show and I am reading his book, that is it. They kept trying to tell me it was more and that I needed to get him to come back to Los Angeles. I needed to take him to Devil’s Gate Dam. I kept telling them no, to leave me alone. I started praying, chanting, calling in good spirits to make the shadows go away. I used my shamanic techniques to make them leave and they warned they would be back. Then the good spirits told me I had to warn Zak about protection, teach him what he needed to do and don’t let him go to Devil’s Gate. Then they sprayed Florida water on me and that is when I woke up, for real. It was all a dream, at least I hoped it was all a dream–a weird, vivid dream.

The next day, my clairvoyance/mediumship teacher posted a video in regards to psychic protection–just a weird coincidence.

I continued to read the book. I reached a section where Zak discussed going to a salt mine for a breathing treatment. I was actually in the Salt Studio in Pasadena for a therapy session in the salt room to treat my own allergies and asthma when I read this particular passage–another weird coincidence.

I continued on with the book but took a break after reading about the exorcist house in St. Louis. I was playing around on social media and Instagram when I noticed a childhood friend of mine posted an image of Linda Blair from the film The Exorcist. Again, just another weird coincidence.

But I pushed through and finished the book. It was an interesting book, as a fan of the show, but a hard read when I felt like I was spiritually put into all of these places along with the GAC. I had to consistently cleanse my room and wear protective jewelry. I slept with Holy Water near my bed. It was just a really strange experience–a book has not affected me like this since I tried to read “The Exorcist” in the sixth grade (I never finished the book because of all the nightmares it gave me and I wound up throwing it away at school).

The day after finishing “I am Haunted,” I decided to drop in on a mediumship class where my teacher spent the first half of the class going over psychic protection–a final weird coincidence.

Posted in Astrology, Life, Relationships, Spirituality, Universe

Twin Flame Confusion in Retrograde

Over the last few days, I have found myself reflecting on the past.  My intuition is high and I have just had too many strange “coincidences” happen.  I blame it all on Mercury Retrograde.

In true retrograde fashion, my plans for myself have gone awry.  I was moving forward, letting go of my past.  I have a great job, a new apartment and all I had left to work on was my love life.  I have been too fixated on the past.  I was finally letting go but the universe, and Mercury, have stepped in to remind me about my Twin Flame.

I have previously written about Twin Flames.  I had figured out who mine was–my soul knew.  I thought I had reached a stage of acceptance that we were not going to work things out in this lifetime.  I knew that no other man would ever make me feel the way he did.  The intense passion, the ability to just feel his presence, feeling like I was home when I was with him, the inability to truly explain our connection–I would never feel that with anyone else and I was finally OK with that.  Then the frickin’ retrograde had to happen.

It started off small with little things here and there.  Certain songs that haven’t played on the radio in years were suddenly on the playlists during my commute, his name started popping up in random places, videos of him popped up on YouTube as suggestions, a press release in regards to a documentary featuring films he worked on appeared in my work email inbox–this was simply the beginning.

As for today, actually the past hour, the “coincidences” have propelled me into writing this particular blog entry.  I had just returned home from a baby shower and was settling in for the night when I decided to check Facebook.  A high school friend of mine had posted an image about the October 8th total lunar eclipse.  I clicked on the image link, thinking I would get more details on the eclipse but instead, I was redirected to a Twin Flames website.  Curious, I scrolled down the page and stopped at the following paragraph: “if you are experiencing a lot of confusion, despair & frustration due to ‘on and off’ relating, and the perplexing so-called “running” dynamic with your Twin Flame, the channeled ancient wisdom of the Teachings of the ‘Twin Flame Sacred Keys’ will show the deeply sub-consciously buried core reason and also explain how to transcend this limited dynamic energetically for the required individual vibrational balance and equilibrium of relating.” 

This peaked my interest because my Twin Flame and I had been “on and off” for 17 years.  We were constantly struggling with our abilities to “relate”, communicate with actual words and we were always finding ways to “run away.”  So I wondered what this site and its author might offer as a solution to a Twin Flame cosmic communication dilemma (without paying $150 for the CDs).

I went back to Facebook and discovered that TWIN FLAME SACRED KEYS has a page.  True to form for the age of Social Media, their Facebook page led me to their YouTube Channel where I found the following video that freaked me out.

Now why exactly was I freaked out by this video?  It is the song playing.  The other videos I watched on the channel had chakra aligning type meditation music.  This particular video has the song “Kissing” by Bliss from the first Sex and the City Movie.  The song plays during a romantic scene between Carrie and Big.  The man whom I consider to be my Twin Flame was also the man I referred to as my Mr. Big.  Coincidence or a sign from the Universe?

Honestly, I was looking at these videos hoping I would read something that would prove my Mr. Big wasn’t my Twin Flame.  Instead, I happen upon a video entitled “Signs of the true twin flame” featuring a song from Sex and the City.  Plus, I could relate to all the “signs” mentioned in the video.  I have often described such feelings in regards to Big.  So the Universe was giving me a sign of validation.  My Mr. Big is also my Twin Flame.  He is also in my past.  We haven’t spoken in almost a year.  This doesn’t change anything.  We couldn’t make things work so why keep pointing out our connection?  I’m confused.  What exactly is the Universe trying to tell me?

Damn you, Mercury Retrograde!

Posted in Life, Spirituality, Universe

I’m Free!!

My Death Arrow
My Death Arrow

Seven weeks ago, I started taking a level one Peruvian Shamanism course at The Green Man Store in North Hollywood. I have always been fascinated by Native American traditions and knowing that my Great Grandmother went to extremes in order to go to Peru (and possibly died there), Peruvian Shamanism just seemed like the appropriate next step in my spiritual journey.

But something was wrong. I didn’t feel like I was really connecting and I wasn’t sure why. Actually, it felt like my life was continually getting worse over the course of the class. My depression was coming back–it had been over a year since I had been in such a funk. My family on the other side of the country was taking turns in the hospital. My worry nerves were in overload. I try to be a fixer for my loved ones. It was hard facing the fact that there was nothing that I could do to make things better. Even worse, I was faced with learning that someone I cared deeply for didn’t want my help, he just wanted me to go away and let him be alone and depressed. Then this week culminated in a clusterfuck that just pushed me to the very edge. But tonight, I finally understood why.

The last seven weeks were so magical that I wasn’t even aware of the transformation that was happening in my life. I thought I was depressed and detached but I was actually healing. All of my issues were coming to the surface–one right after the other until they were all before me in this dark, massive mountain of denial. Then just two days ago, an Opossum literally forced me to see the light.

The apartment building next to mine has a motion light right by their dumpster. It shines right in my window whenever anyone throws out their trash. I was sitting on my couch when I noticed the light come on but I didn’t hear the sound of the dumpster. Maybe it wasn’t the light after all. Maybe it was someone using a flashlight and shining it outside my apartment. I grabbed my baseball bat and swung open the door–I was not going to allow someone to steal my gnomes again (whole other story). To my surprise, there was no one there but a rather large opossum sitting on the fence, staring at me. There was no hissing or running away. He just looked me in the eye. I greeted him and he appeared to acknowledge me with a nod before he switched directions on the fence and scurried off–heading West (which actually has meaning to me now).

I looked up the meaning of an opossum spirit animal and it talked about needing to come up with a strategy. Opossums are great actors–playing whatever part needed for survival. I finally realized that I have been doing that for a very long time. As I read more and more, I realized this was actually perfect and made complete sense in accordance to my current life status of chaos.

The following day, after the encounter with Mr. Opossum, I went to Hahamongna Watershed Park (where Devil’s Gate Dam is located). I was on my way home from work and I needed to get sticks to make death arrows for my final shamanism class. Once I found the perfect specimens, I decided to walk over to Devil’s Gate Dam, since I was there. On the power lines over what used to be a water filled dam (drought), I saw two crows looking at me. One stayed and the other flew away. I instantly thought, just like the two men in my life–one just left. So I looked up the meanings of the crow totem and for this particular situation, I would say I was being told to focus on my intuition and sight. I also believe the one crow leaving represents the loss of the male “friend; ” a loss that turned into a life-changing moment for me.

It was at this time that I noticed the sun had set and I better get back to my car. The park closes at sunset. I ran back just in time to see the police leave, locking the gates behind them. Yep, I was locked inside “Devil’s Gate Dam.” Just as I was about to lose it, this kind jogger came up to me and said that the officer knew he was jogging and had put the lock on the gate but it wasn’t actually locked. He kindly opened the gates for me so I could escape my imaginary park prison.

For me, that was the cherry on top of my mountain of denial. Little did I know, it was the last bit I needed to finally make my real “death arrow.” A death arrow is a representation of your need to bring death to certain parts of your life or your past to make way for new beginnings. So when I got home, I pulled out my yarn, matching the chakra colors, and took all my frustrations out on the making of my death arrow for our fire ceremony on the last day of class. I took the picture I had of myself and my former friend, wrapping it around the arrow. I used blue and green yarn to secure it as well as marking the love and communication problems that occurred throughout that relationship. It was finally time to let it all go.

I carefully chose each color and the order, wanting to make sure I dealt with everything that had surfaced over the last seven weeks. There it was, my real “death arrow.” I was so proud and beyond ready to let go. Bring on the new beginnings.

For the first time in weeks, I am happy and bubbly. I have high amounts of energy and I feel reconnected with my sight. Tonight, when I threw my death arrow into the fire during our ceremony, I got my fresh start. The heaviness, the depression, the self-doubt–it is all gone. I feel like a new person. I feel like I have a new outlook on life. I suddenly feel the need to dance around to “Disco Inferno.” I also have a clear mind as I begin creating a strategy to fix the other problems in my life. No more denial or “acting.” I know what I want and I am going after it because I’m free. I don’t have the past holding me back any longer. I am a phoenix rising from the ashes and I am ready to soar!

Posted in Life, Music, Spirituality, Universe

I Believe in Magic

Do I believe in magic?  Of course I do.  My life is filled with magical moments and magical people.  But if you would have asked me this question a year ago, the answer would have been completely different.

Exactly one year ago, I was trapped in a vortex of anxiety and depression.  My life was falling into ruin but it would be months before I would realize that I needed my life to come crashing down around me.  I had to hit rock bottom.  I had to seek out help.  I had to let go of who I thought I was in order to find out who I am really am.

It didn’t happen overnight.  It took months.  It took months to realize that I couldn’t do it alone, that I didn’t have to even try to do it alone.  I found an amazing group of magical people who have become my family.  They pulled me out of the darkness and helped me find my way to the life I have today.

Now my heart goes out to someone I love dearly who is struggling to find his way.  I understand his need for solitude and in-depth soul searching.  But at the same time, I hope he remembers that he doesn’t have to go it alone.  Even Buddha discovered that the quest to enlightenment is better achieved with a little help.  And in my humble opinion, the bond created between people who help each other can be profoundly magical.  So if he should happen to read this, I just have one question for him, “Do you believe in magic?”