Thursday, December 23, 2010

Columbia mall flash mob 12/22/10

Imagine if all nations came together to create a multinational song and dance performance. Flashmobs are showing up all over the globe and leaving joy and unity in their wake. I think this may just be the key to peace on earth. It is the power of the arts to entertain, heal and enlighten.
I participated in this flashmob last night and what fun! You can't help but smile when you watch.
Merry Christmas!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Goddess Energy

Are you a Goddess? If you are a woman, I certainly hope so. The world needs all women to rise to there most complete Goddess potential NOW! We have reached a crossroads in our culture where women of all ages and races need to come together, embrace their divinity and lead the planet to it's next evolutionary plateau. The amazing and totally cool Sierra bender describes a Goddess for us here...

If you want to be connected in a more profound way to your own Goddess energy, check out Sierra's work. Here's a photo of my interview with Sierra coming soon to a TV near you!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Vortex Energy

On a recent trip to Arizona I hiked Boynton Canyon, one of the most powerful of the Sedona vortexes. Sitting up on the red rocks surrounded by the womb-like shape of the canyon, I couldn't help but feel the energy, the peace and the power. While some doubt the existence of the so-called vortexes, I challenge anyone to not be moved by the beauty of the red rocks in Sedona. For me, it is always renewing and amazing to enter these areas. The native americans knew the sacredness of these sites and revered them for their healing properties. I am grateful that we are still able to enjoy their beauty and splendor.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Dreams Coming True

Caroline's dreams are coming true as she opens as Lady of the Lake in Spamalot's 2010 North American Tour. I tried not to embarrass her too much, but I can't resist sometimes. Take a look at my silly video.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Creative Energy

For many years now I have been working on a template for a tv show about spirituality and now that I am officially an empty nester and have much more free time, I am ready to get going with the production of the show. Here is my first draft, if you will, just a sample of what the show will be. Would love any comments or suggestions, ideas for what you would like to see on the show.

Thursday, July 1, 2010


This morning, as I lay in bed waiting for the alarm to ring, I could have sworn I heard my breasts talking to each other. I know it sounds crazy, but they were having this conversation They talked back and forth, like I wasn’t even there. It went something like this:

Right breast: So how’re you doin’ over there?

Left Breast: OK, I guess, just hanging out.

Right Breast: Oh come on, it’s me, remember? You can talk to me.

Left Breast: Alright, I just have not been myself. I feel like SHE doesn’t care about us any more. I mean, what was that last procedure? We’ve talked before about the squeezy thing – that mammogram SHE is making us go through every six months now. What is SHE thinking? Does she know we’re not as young as we used to be and flattening us like a pancake in all directions between two panes of glass is not exactly a beauty treatment, you know! But this last thing…the biopsy – you didn’t have to go through it – it was horrible!

Right Breast: I am soooooo sorry. Why don’t you try and get it off your chest.

Left Breast: (Choking back tears) You know. You were there. They put us on this table where I had to hang through a hole and they mashed me, then drilled me with a long needle that made a terrible noise. I couldn’t move. I was terrified.

SHE must have been awfully scared but SHE never said a thing. Until it was all over. Then SHE cried. SHE held an ice pack over me and just sobbed. It was so sad.

Right Breast: You know I am here for you. Even if SHE isn’t.

Left Breast: Thank you. I just hope you never have to go through what I did.

Right Breast: Remember at our last girls’ night out when Shelly’s breasts were telling us about HER last doctor’s visit. Apparently they’ve had four biopsies between them and are going for a fifth. And, they have titanium chips in them now to mark where the biopsies have been done. What’s up with that?

Left Breast: Yeah, something about calcifications. Don’t THEY know we all have them. It’s just a normal part of the aging process?

Right Breast: What is SHE thinking? Sometimes I think SHE really doesn't appreciate us. Remember when we were first growing and our nipples were budding? We were so proud, but SHE seemed kind of ashamed and covered us up with that training bra. What was that all about?

Left Breast: Yeah, and when the babies came, we produced girl, didn’t we?

Right Breast: You can say that again sister! I think we made more milk than most of HER friends. Those were some healthy, well-fed babies.

Left Breast: And I haven’t heard any complaints from HIM!

Right Breast: I know, right! He loooovvvves us. Probably pays more attention to us than SHE does.

Right Breast: SHE does seem a little detached. Do you think we can do something, you know,to get HER attention. Wake HER up….

Left Breast: I am closest to HER heart. Maybe there is something we can do to get her to sit up and listen… before it’s too late.

So, what’s a girl to when her breasts are talking about her behind her back?

Something’s gotta give. How can we continue much longer putting “the Girls” through such torture when they have been so good to us all these years? I am not a doctor. I am just a woman who has fallen prey to a medical system that seems to value avoiding law suits more than caring for the very things that have the power to make knees go weak, nourish and sustain life and lovingly protect the female heart. When I leave the radiologists’s office all I get is a foreboding warning to be back in six months for more of the same pathetic, demoralizing treatment that is supposed to spare me death from the dreaded “C” word. Not once do they tell me what to do to actually take care of my breasts in the meantime. All I am left with is the sickening fear that so many other women have felt before me as they wait for the next mammogram/ultrasound/biopsy round that will let them breathe a temporary sigh of relief until the next one rolls around. I know I am supposed to be grateful, but, forgive me, if I expect just a little better from the medical system in the greatest country in the world.

Technology is wonderful and, no doubt, saves lives, but our current paradigm of treating all women's breasts as though they are either pre-malignant or malignant is no way to run a health care system. The fear alone that it instills is enough to make even the most healthy immune system a little shaky on its feet.

We need a better way. We need to really take a hard look at our system, our testing procedures and diagnostic tools. We need to train our medical professionals to see the benefits of preventive care for their patients over lawsuit prevention for themselves. And we need to treat our “Girls” with the respect they so deserve, at every age.

I offer an open apology to my breasts and ask their forgiveness for my temporary insanity as I bought into the consciousness of fear that is so pervasive in our culture. I promise to do my best to find the medical and complimentary health care professionals that can best nurture and ensure the health of my “Girls”, just as they have done for me all of these years! After all, I really do want to keep YOU around. I’m kind of attached to YOU!

Here's a link to some info about the mammogram controversy and how we really need something better and SOON!!!!!…-and-it’s-still-outrage

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Waiting for Togo(t)

Mocking the play "Waiting for Godot" in college theatre class, my classmates and I performed a silly parody of waiting for to go during which we were waiting for various things and how we handled it. This week, while waiting for word about a breast biopsy, I thought often about how difficult it is to stay in the moment and just be where we are without projecting thoughts into the future. Babies and pets are good at this, but me, not so much. I profess to have faith in God and try to live as such but when the shit hits the fan and I am tested, apparently I still have more work to do. This week was a test for sure. I found myself wavering back and forth between the worst case scenerio and the absolute best, hesitant to embrace either. As though we can really prepare for the worst, I felt that I needed to be armed and ready for anything. I know better. We can never really prepare and be completely emotionally ready for bad news. When my daughter was alive, I used to go through this process, always hoping for the best but proparing for the worst, or so I thought. At her passing, I think I was still shellshocked, so what's the point?

This week has been a test of strength but also a test of staying power. During the stress of it all, I was able to find joy in the small things...picking my daughter up from the airport after her month away in Turkey, a fun girls' noght out at the movies, wine on the porch with my husband, a long walk on a beautiful new trail with a good friend. I recall times during my first daughter's life when I had surrendered to the reality and seriousness of her illness and began to consciously appreciate small things like a plate of macaroni and cheese that she devoured, a day when her color remained pink and healthy, a sweet moment tucking her in at night... These small beautiful things are sustenance during times of stress and uncertainty. They may be fleeting, but woven together, they can get us through the obstacles of life with a bit more grace.

This morning when I got the call that all was fine, I breathed a sigh of relief, thanked God, and then called my husband. After that, I started reflecting on this past week. Waiting is hard, but aren't we always waiting for something? (I am recalling a Sesame Street song "Something to do While We're Waiting" and thinking maybe that was more for the parents than the kids.) Once again, I learned that it is not WHAT life throws at us that really makes the changes in us, but rather the HOW we handle it that counts. I guess I get about a B for this one.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

To Mammogram or not to Mammogram?

O.K. since my last post I feel that I have reached a bit of a conclusion as to the purpose of all of this focus on the boobies. It was not at all a coincidence that I was asked to host the Breast Cancer Awareness Hotline where I was able to talk extensively to a breast surgeon who was also a cancer survivor. She reiterated the importance of regular testing for women, emphasizing that a great majority of her patients were under the age of 50. Ugh! Scary stuff. Really scary. And fear is the overall emotion whenever the "C" word is mentioned.

A few days after this TV appearance, I had my own regular yearly mammogram which resulted in additional screening by sonogram and a recommendation of biopsy for calcifications in one breast. Now, I have been a good girl and for the past year I have gone back for diagnostic mammograms for these little flecks of calcium every six months. Well, I am not convinced that this is the best route but apparently it is my job to investigate. Calcifications that show up on a mammogram can be normal to the aging process or, showing up in certain forms on the mammogram, indications of a potential cancerous growth. Unfortunately, the determination of
the intention of these little buggers (calcifications) is complicated. Following their progress through mammography at six month intervals and biopsy is the current standard of treatment from traditional medicine. Not only are "the girls" exposed to lots of radiation from all of these tests (which may or may not contribute to cancer down the road) but often, false-positive results are garnered from all of this testing which creates more anxiety, more frustration in deciding what to do about treatment, and potentially unneccessary treatment.

I was just being the good girl that I am and following doctors' orders and now I am fraught with worry, my vivid imagination running wild. I am a normally positive person. I eat well, exercise and have a really good life. I don't need to bring any of this drama into my life. So, I have to ask what does it all mean? Without meaning, any of these bumps in the road are just nuisances. My mother has never had a mammogram and, at 73, probably never will. She tends to ignore negative things in her life or wash them down with a glass of wine or two. In the past I have called her on this, but now I am seriously considering adopting her life coping strategy. Yesterday, however, she surprised me by suggesting that I get a thermagram instead of a biopsy. I may have underestimated my Mother.

While thermography seems to be a viable adjunct to traditional testing, it is poo pooed by every medical doctor that I have mentioned it to. So what's a good girl to do? I can't help but believe that the meaning of all of this in unfolding for me. Stay tuned.

Here is a study I came upon that sheds a bit of light on the current situation in our country for bc diagnosis:

Saturday, June 5, 2010

What a week! Or, what is God trying to tell me?

Well, this week I had a couple of nice gigs, hosting and voiceing a video and working again on ABC 7 as Host of another health related phone bank. The phone bank allows viewers to call in with questions about a particular topic. Both went really well and were a lot of fun. Meanwhile, I was scheduled for a couple of things that I had been rather dreading - the mammogram which was a couple of months overdue and gum surgery. The mammogram is always terrifying to me. I get so mad at myself for being so frightened because so many women have actually had to deal with the big C and I admire their courage so much. Having been called back for calcification watch on the left breast, I knew there was something to look at. Thankfully (maybe) I had a very diligent radiologist who looked at my films and she wanted to take a closer look by ultrasound at the other breast. The two women in the room (tech and radiologist) agreed that I had dense breasts and the area of concern was normal for me. We'll be watching that one though. Ugh! After the ultrasound the radiologist casually mentioned that we ought to biopsy the left breast because she saw more calcifications. Trying to assure me that she had been able to see them (the calcifications, which are normal to see on a woman's mammogram) pretty clearly and they looked benign, but just to be sure because there seemed to be more of them, we should biopsy. She went on to explain the procedure and how routine it was, blah, blah, blah. Still, it is scary and so now I am going through the process that so many women before me have been through of trying to stay positive while realistically looking at the possibilities. I feel that the trick is to stay in the moment, but what a tough thing to do.
So here I sit with puffy cheeks from my gum surgery and my normal response to stress like this would be to go for a run or get a massage but I can do neither. I guess I will have to sit and meditate which is what I have been called to do of late but have found it difficult. So, what IS God trying to tell me this week? With two health-realted freelance jobs and two medical procedures to deal with I can't help but think it's just time to pay some attention to my health instead of taking it for granted.
My goal through all of this is just what I told my "viewers" in my Oprah audition. To go through the changes and come out on the other side the better for it. I hope I can take my own advice. Stay tuned.

Monday, May 24, 2010

My Amazing Niece

My beautiful, sweet, talented niece Bridget produced a benefit concert this weekend for the people of Haiti and she asked me to help her with a video. She is an amazing girl/woman with an amazing future. Take a look at what she did. I am so proud of her ( and my sister for raising such a great kid!)

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Following my Bliss

So, yesterday I bit the bullet and submitted a video to Oprah's new network to be their new network star. I never really had the desire to be a star, just to contribute in some way to the betterment of the world. I have had a strong desire, however to host a show about holistic healing and spirituality and put out a positive message on our airways. If you want to see what I submiited you can view it here...

Wish me luck!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

My Acupuncture Experience

Wow! is all I can say. First and foremost, I was fortunate to have chosen the sweetest and most knowledgeable practitioner. Janet talked me through the procedure and answered all of my questions thoroughly and compassionately. The needles were small and I could feel a slight prick but, once they were in, I was in total bliss! She left me to my needles accompanied by soft music and I drifted into la la land until she came back into the room to remove the needles. Can't wait to go back for more! Check out my video .

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

The Big 5-Oh No!

So, I recently turned the big five-O and boy this age is not for the faint of heart. No pun intended there, really. To listen to the media and traditional medicine, fifty is the magical age where health seems to spiral downward in a depressing, debilitating, uncontrollable way. It is the age of peri or full blown menopause for women, the age of the first colonoscopy, osteoporosis is supposed to set in, and all the big diseases, well, at fifty, they are just waiting to get ya! I am usually pretty oblivious to societal pressure, but this one has a bit of a grip on me. I intend to shake it off. Knowledge is power, so today I am embarking on a journey to discover how best to navigate this second half of life in the healthiest and happiest way possible. I start with a visit to an accupuncturist.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Look at Me I'm Sandra Dee! Finding and Following your Bliss!

As I write this, my 22 year old daughter is performing the role of Rizzo in the musical "Grease" in Istanbul, Turkey. Why is this significant? Well, it is just another (almost) miraculous syncronicity that I have come to expect in my life. My daughter is an amazing young woman. From early in her life, she knew what she wanted and was determined to get it. A lead role in "The Secret Garden" propelled her to leads in high school, local theatre and then in college where she majored in Musical Theatre. She has never wavered from her intention and passion and it has paid off. I, on the other hand, have espoused the "put it out there and let's see what comes back" approach to following my bliss. At 17, after performing in the high school version of the play, I auditioned for the movie "Grease" and won a part in the blockbuster starring John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John. As exciting as that was, after returning to the East Coast just in time for college, I turned down opportunities that sprang from my Hollywood experience to begin my freshman year. Somehow I think my daughter would have chosen differently as her plans for herself were much more set in stone.

So what do we learn about following your bliss from these two very different approaches? If you are sure, as was my daughter, of your true passion in life, then let nothing stand in yur way. Your tenacity will ensure that doors open for you where appropriate. For you, signs along the way will be fun to notice, but rather redundant. If you are more like me, which I believe most of us are, and are finding your bliss as you go along, then you will have to be open and looking for those doors, signs and opportunities as they appear. Do they make your heart sing? Then grab em! Can you see yourself there? Then go! Do they appear over and over in your life? Take the hint.
In the end, I am an actress and so is my daughter. Sure it took me longer, but it has most certainly been worth it!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Endings and Beginnings

It is May and the time of graduations and celebrations of the end of long years of schooling. This particular May we have two graduations to celebrate, one college and one high school. As I look back on the years leading up to this I can't help but marvel at the speed with which the years have flown. My baby girl is now a college graduate ready to embark on her own life and career and my sweet once blond tressed son is now man-sized, dark haired, and about to leave our home for a new and totally different college experience.

How do I feel about all this change? Well, the Mommy in me is feeling nostalgic, a little sad, and fearful for them. At the same time though there is a sense that all is right with the world and these endings are but signposts on the road of life and beautiful and right ones at that. My perspective is ever tainted by having lost a child and therefore these milestones in my living children's lives are sweet reminders of the right way things should be. We should revel in our children's successes and appreciate their growth. We should praise them and love them until their spiritual cups are full to overflowing and send them off with the knowledge that their parents see nothing but the best in them and love them truly and unconditionally. Here are the videos I made for my Daughter and Son for their graduations...