Living Outside Of The Lines

There are some things that we all are good at life and others that are a struggle. I have always been a horrible driver. I actually failed my driving test in high school which was pretty awful as a 17 year old girl waiting for her freedom. But after that failure, I was determined and my mom and I spent hours and hours at the driving course practicing and practicing until I passed that damn test.  After living in New York City and Hoboken for a good 10 years I was spoiled because I didn't have to drive! I love mass transit, I really do. Well it just happens that I ended up marrying a guy who loves to drive and loves cars. They are his passion.

Marriage is a partnership and we each bring our strengths, driving and taking care of our cars is not one of mine so I'm thankful that’s in my husbands "column".  So this past weekend he "schooled" me to the fact that I parked my car in the church parking lot so badly I was actually taking up 2 spaces. So what did he do? He re-parked my car for me! I mean, that's love. It drives him crazy that I don't care enough to park inside the lines. "Take 2 seconds and fix it!" and then I laugh and tell him, "But I don't care!  Who cares if I park inside the lines, or a little bit outside? "  Our kids then jumped on the bandwagon to tell me how bad a parking job I did which was embarrassing but I still DON'T CARE!  

I have been waiting for some inspiration for my next blog post and this funny marital spat was it. I don't want to live my life parking inside the lines. Life is messy. We are not perfect. Life is so much more fun in the grey and the "live out loud color" than black and white lines. Sure there are some things in life that need to be inside the lines, like our taxes, or making sure you pay your mortgage on time (all things also in my husband's column!)..but life with a capital "L" is exciting and messy. In the world of social media it's so easy to see perfection because we get to edit and retouch our lives or selfies to what we want the world to see. I think imperfection is so much more beautiful. So embrace your imperfection today. Park outside of the lines. Live outside of the lines. Not sure how to do that? Message me. That's what coaches are for. I promise I won't park next to you :)

 

 

Judgment in Paradise

Sea foam green is the color of the ocean. Palm trees line the sand providing a canopy of shade and tranquility. Today there is not a speck of white in the sky, only blue, azul, except for a 1/2 circle of faded white where the night moon lingers. Sail boats glide along the water effortlessly. A father and son are snorkeling in the distance. Spanish honeymooners take picture after picture to capture the beginning of their lives together. A grandma with short white hair sports a bikini and a lower back tattoo. Booze cruises blasting Spanish music circle the ocean with the spring breakers drinking it all in (pun intended). A preppy 20 something in Khaki shorts and a pale blue button down walks the beach dutifully with his middle age mother. A mother of four pushes a double stroller, bags, beach toys and family in toe. Empty nesters hold hands carefree strolling through the water. Gorgeous and blazon Europeans sunbathe topless without a care in the world. Overweight men let it all hang out in too tight speedos. A mother drinks herself to sleep in a beach chair while her mother tends to her sweetly.

Scene change: the maids are up at 5 am washing every surface of this gorgeous resort. The landscapers toil cutting and trimming each palm branch just so. The bartenders sweat and dance as they keep refilling the sweet coladas and daiquiris. The kitchen workers dice tomatoes and fruit to prepare for another meal serving hundreds of hungry vacationers.

And what am I doing? Observing from my beach chair, reading, and laying out to catch some much needed sun. Escaping into the characters in my book and the characters I see before me. Wondering what their stories are, but if I'm really honest. I’m sitting here judging. Judging the mom with four, the topless European, the Grandma with the back tattoo. Even in paradise it is just sooo easy to judge. Until we can let go of judgment of others and of ourselves, we will never be truly present in the right now and happy with ourselves.

How do we let go of judgment?  We can start by being grateful. I am going to start by being grateful for the sea foam green ocean, the never ending sun, the job which provided for us to be here, the children whose energy keeps me young and tired, and for the workers behind the scenes making this trip so wonderful.

We can also recognize that when we judge someone else, we see something in that person that maybe we wish we had. I wish I had the bravado to lay topless on a beach, or the courage to get a tattoo at 38 or 58! With each judgment that little gremlin is whispering in my ear...not skinny enough, not bold enough, not strong enough. I want the "I don't give a $%! what anyone thinks of me" attitude. That's what I want. I'll get there. I'm going to start by letting go of judgment in paradise. #puntacana

The Climb

 

This afternoon I was at a birthday party where my 7 year old was rock climbing. The tenacity of these kids was just awesome. They didn’t look down, only up and kept going till they got up that wall. There was one mom who turned to me and said her son was afraid of heights, but he still got up there. He reached a certain point, looked down, and decided, ok I’ve had enough, and came back down.

It reminded me of so many of us and the things we want and the fears that stop us literally, right before we get to the top and the magic happens. 

I pursued musical theater in NYC for a good 10 years.  I waited on line for cattle calls; I mailed headshots and resumes out, poured over the pages of Backstage, continued with classes, and voice lessons, and gave it everything I had.  In return I got a whole lotta nothin. But I kept at it. Eventually, a connection through my church opened a door for me, which led to booking a musical that opened at the Apollo Theater. I toured with insanely talented people, got my equity card and came back to NYC waiting for the next BIG thing to happen, but it didn’t. I gave it another year, got an audition for Tracy in Hairspray, and then nothin. Crickets. I was so close to the top of that rock wall and I stopped. I had had enough of the climb.

 When you love something as much I love to sing and act it’s truly heartbreaking when the world doesn’t seem to “let you do” what you love.  So I took a beat and said, ok, it’s time to start a family and get going on the dream of motherhood I have always had. I don’t regret my decision to stop climbing the wall because it led me to my sons, Oliver and Charlie who I wouldn’t trade for all the show tunes in the world. BUT, there are days when I look back and think- did I stop right before the magic happened?  Or was the magic the climb all along?  I mean heck, Miley did write a whole song about it :)  Are you so goal oriented that you are missing the fun and process of the climb?  Or are you stopping yourself before you even get started? Think about it. Marinate on that one as it’s stirring up a lot for me. 

Holy Cannoli

 

It’s the Day after Easter am. A glorious day of sunshine, worship, food, wine and cannoli’s. So why am I feeling so down? Oh just the typical morning after a holiday shaming myself on the scale.

You know that moment too well.  Why are we so obsessed as a species about a number on a scale? I’m still trying to figure that out myself.

Instead of continuing down the shame game, I took a deep breath and thought- what have I done before that really worked for me? Discipline, consistency, tracking my food intake. So here I go. Using one of the many helpful diet apps to track my calories, food and exercise. If I have time to complain, then I have time to do something about it.

Think back to a time when you handled a similar situation and had a positive result. What tools did you use that made it work?  Try it! If it worked before, it can work again.

So if Brene Brown and my Italian Grandma Garaio could give us all advice today they would say:  Stop shaming yourself, you are good enough, and you deserve to eat Cannoli’s!

What's standing in your way?

5 years ago, on March 13th I had one of the worst and best nights of my life. It was the night before my 2nd son, Charlie Joseph was born. I went to the hospital at 1am and they sent me back home not being dilated enough at that time. So instead of a highly organized and pain free induced birth like I had with my son Oliver, this one was full out labor all night long, in my bed, while my husband happily slept. WOW. the Pain. Just insane. Fast forward through the gory details to 8:30am we drove back to the hospital. I'm sheet white, throwing up, can't speak. I finally get in a wheel chair and a very kind and funny nurse takes one look at me and says: "honey, if you are gonna have this baby today, you are gonna have to take your pants off first!" I laughed through tears and then proceeded to throw up on her. But what ironic wisdom in that moment! I mean I couldn't think straight. I needed an epidural like nothing else. But before this little gorgeous sweet Mama's boy could come out, I seriously did need to remove the thing that was blocking his way! My pants. It just struck me while reading "You are a Badass", by Jen Sincero. She talks about removing your obstacles. Changing your stories. But what's standing in your way? It seems so simple. Take off your damn pants because that baby is just about ready to come out.  What are you ready to give birth to today? An awesome song? A new novel? A kick-ass business idea? The fastest mile you've ever run? What are you waiting for? Take off your damn pants and get it done! You got this.