26 September 2006

Topsy Turvy or Commitment

Tuesday 5:11pm 26Sept06
When the world is Topsy turvy an artist should still do their art, a writer should still write. Especially then.

When my mother died in 1996, through the worst part of my grief and grieving process, I kept a journal. I started from the beginning, when I'd woken up that morning and wasn't feeling well. Felt like I could throw up, maybe I could have a fever, maybe I was coming down with a cold. I didn't know what was wrong except that I wasn't feeling right. Lying in bed, trying to decide how I could call in sick at the Science Centre knowing full well that it was the opening day for the Omnimax theatre and no one could call in sick, my phone rang. My call display said Mom and her phone number. And in my childish, I feel sick voice, I said, "it's mommy!" before i answered the phone with a Hello.

A strange man's voice asked if I was Shelley and told me that he was Dave's brother (my mom's boyfriend) and told me he had some bad news. I kept thinking, "just tell me what hospital she's in."
Instead he told me that she was dead. No one in my family had enough guts to make the call so I had to hear it from a complete stranger. Needless to say I had the reason to call in sick at the Science Centre. I wasn't sick, my mother was dead.

My mother was dead.

I've been reading the War of Art and the differences between a professional and an amateur. And surprisingly enough it's not about the money. It's not about being published or how many times you've been published. It's about whether you show up every day come rain or shine, fever or happiness, falling in love or getting fired. No matter what's going on, it's showing up to do what you have to do.

So I made the commitment last week, that I would be an apprentice first. The apprenticeship is my ten year goal. No thoughts of publication but to honestly, wholeheartedly learn my craft, practicing, reading, studying. And in ten years time work toward the next goal - something tangible. The thing about commitment is sometimes that commitment is going to be tested. It's almost as if the cosmos or God or something is asking is this a true commitment? Prove it!

We were never guaranteed Happiness. We were never guaranteed success. We were never guaranteed that anything would be easy. The only thing we're pretty much guaranteed is work, pain and death. Today there was that noticeable balance. That balance between the yucky stuff that stressed me out that my obsessive thinking focused on for far too long and then there was the magical appearances by three men that either snapped me out of it, made me feel warm and fuzzy or just plain made me laugh. It's almost as if God was asking me, "so which one are you going to choose to focus on? Will you focus on the diabolical or the inspirational?"

And in my writing I have to ask, "what do I want to focus on? Will I focus on the stress, my fatigue and the pain or will I focus on what it is I really want to do?" Knowing full well that I'll have to ask the same question again tomorrow.

Ant and I had lunch again today and it was kind of funny because we were both in similar types of moods. I'm discovering that we are actually similar types of people. Except he's with a more calmer edge than I am. We were in similar types of moods, partially stressed, wanting to be present to each other, for each other.
He said, "I'm the listening Ant today, I'm not the talking Ant."
And I said, "As am I. I don't want to rant. I've ranted enough about this. Besides we don't spend nearly enough time together that I'm going to waste it on ranting. I just want to laugh."

And we did the laugh dance.

He cracked a comment, I laughed. I cracked a comment to outdo his comment and so it went for our whole lunch.
We got away from serious and diabolical and stressful and made a connection.

Now, I'm going to go and work on my commitment.


21 September 2006

The General

Thursday 6:45pm 21Sept06

I got an email today from the General. He is the husband of a woman that I became friends with when I worked for the Life Coach. The General is an older man (at least half a dozen years older than me) with a child's heart. His wife had told me about his dreams and if they worked they'd be rich. I admired the General because he often puts on this Calvary costume and actually goes out in the streets with it on. When he's in costume, he is the General.

How many adults do you know that have the guts, the self assuredness and whatever else they'd need to do that?

The General is the most enthusiastic person I've ever met. He wholeheartedly believes in his dreams. He knows that it's just a matter of time before his dreams become reality.

In his email he told me that he and his wife are moving out to LA. His dream has hit pay dirt. Because of it, they will also be setting up a development company for Canadian talent and entrepreneurs.

You've gotta believe and keep doing whatever it takes to get out there. That's a message to me.


15 September 2006


Friday 10:43pm 15Sept06

I went and saw Beyonce perform at Dundas Square this evening. She sounded excellent, she looked amazing and the main thing that struck me was how inspiring she is. When you think about it, she's 25 years old and look at her. She's got some real talent and all that kept reverberating in my mind was, "That's the result of hard work."

Imagine what you would do if you knew at the end of some real hard work for several years without stopping or giving up how accomplished we could all be. I'm going to think about that for myself for a long while.


12 September 2006

Personal Arthritis Regime update

Tuesday 6:12pm 12Sept06

It's about time to stock up on all the concoctions that I've been using. I've reached the tail end of both the Vital Greens and the Nutri Flex. I'll continue with those but won't be doing the black radish juice again, I think. It's just so vile! I'm going to look for tinctures of other herbs like Black Cohosh instead.

I'm thinking about doing away with the raw potato juice and just keep up with the raw beet juice and the raw cabbage juice. Since night shade vegetables are on my don't have list and a potato is a night shade albeit we normally eat it cooked, I just want to ax that out and see how that goes.
Beets are such a great flush that probably just doing those would be great and the cabbage doesn't hurt. I had the brain wave to add vegetable stock (home made of course) to my beet and cabbage juice. It makes a big difference. Beet juice is so strong and earthy (read smells and tastes like dirt) that it's not always the easiest for me to get down when you think that I don't even like beets.

While reading up on the Liver cleanse instructions there was mention made to doing it for three months before taking a break from it. So I'll be doing that. That'll bring me close to the end of the year. I'll revisit the liver cleanse again in January or February. I'm contemplating doing a fall cleanse around the 23rd when the season changes. Probably my tried and trusted Sambu cleanse.

I feel like my system is working more like clock work so there have definitely been improvements to my overall well-being.
My foot pain is still pretty regular but not the excruciating crippling pain that I was suffering from that ultimately got me to find out exactly what was wrong and onto this eventual regime. So that's a plus. It's like my feet sometimes need to warm up before I can use them, if that makes sense.

I figure that it will take a few years before I feel substantial healing since this pain has been building for more than 12 years. I'm fine with that. I'd love it if it were totally gone once and for all but that's the attitude that stops us from following through on a program. By the time I reach substantial healing I'm sure I will forget what it was like to eat all the stuff that I ate with no concern about how it might affect my body. It will be so long out of my system that I won't miss it. Imagine that!

I'm noticing since the weather got cooler that I'm freezing so I need to find ways to add warmth to my day. More soups and warming spices like cayenne pepper and ginger. I need to shift my eating a bit by starting with the more warming foods and drinking more of the juices later on in the day. Any one that knows me knows that I wear layers in the summer, so I'm a pretty large cold wimp. I think I'm already wearing way too many layers given it's barely the Fall and what the heck will I have left to put on in the winter?

I still need to focus more on the external treatments for my feet like the castor oil packs and the foot soaks. I've been pretty bad about that. The Castor Oil is damn messy. And I have to sit still long enough for the foot soaks. Plus I'd like to start getting regular reflexology massages. But the cashish can only take so much , I have to save a little money and pay those regular bills too. sigh!

So in short, Better energy level, overall system improvements (regular elimination), lost 12 lbs so far, less of the excruciating pain, clear expectation that this will take a few years, and need to rearrange when I eat what I do eat to give me more warmth. Either that or I'll need to wear plug in heating clothes or something. Could you imagine? Has anyone invented that yet?


11 September 2006

Undead Television Report - 11Sept06

Monday 8:06pm 11Sept06

Last week, I did this report on the wrong day, it's supposed to be Mondays. I've been a lucky lady in that I only had the two shows or so I said, not realizing that there's a couple more.

Okay so I've been taping Rescue Me and Weeds from Showcase. I've also been taping Prison Break and Vanished off Global. I only added Vanished because it's on after Prison Break. Tonight season two of the Closer starts and can I just say I love Kyra Sedgewick so much in this role it's pathetic? She's almost like a female Columbo with sex appeal.

I didn't watch last week's episode of Prison Break nor Vanished and well, it's Monday again so that'll be 4 hours that I'll have to find somewhere. Oh Yes, ha ha, Six Feet Under started last night. Um, and Inside the Actor's Studio started its new season too yesterday. It was Tim Allen, I taped it.

I still have about ten vids of shows to watch from last season! Out of control. I just recently saw the season finale of American Idol off one of the tapes. Yes, it's that bad. So there is absolutely no reason for me to watch television unless it's on tape. This weekend I flipped around lazily as I nodded back off, not bothering to slip in one of those tapes. So for the most part I'm improved. I'm not watching the television aimlessly night in and night out like I used to. I want to keep reporting in on a weekly basis more for myself than for any one who might read this. The fall season has barely begun and I know how easy it can be to fall off the wagon.

Plus there are still some shows that haven't started yet that I have to watch like: The Gilmore Girls, Grey's Anatomy, Nip/Tuck, The L Word, Family Guy.

The only new shows I may pick up are Justice (because I like the replay of the murder in the end that shows the audience if the person was innocent or guilty) and Vanished (because I'm already taping it.)

And that's it okay? Don't tell me about some show you're watching that's excellent until after the season is over. Don't say, "Shelley it's such great writing." If Quentin Tarantino is going to direct every episode of CSI this year, don't let me know (that's the only reason why I'd watch). Pretend you know nothing about my television confessions unless we're talking about shows I already watch.

And if you think I'm pathetic, which I am ...

Hmm, I don't know if Bravo is planning on bringing back new episodes of The Writing Life ( the only show I should be watching!)


10 September 2006

Accept Who You Are

Sunday 5:55pm 10Sept06

I watched the movie, Jersey Girl, yesterday and the female love interest said to Ben Affleck's character, "Forget what you thought you were and accept who you are."

Sometimes it's hard to get over what you thought you were going to be. When I look at my life, I haven't accomplished most of the things I thought I would 20 years ago. I thought I'd be a successful full-time writer. I thought I'd find the right person by the time I hit 35 years old and we'd marry and have children. We would probably have some struggles but for the most part we'd live a charmed life. I thought I'd be rich and travel and own land. I thought, I thought, I thought ...

I've lived in the same apartment for 17 years. Many people have criticized this apartment because they say, I should live some where better. I live like a College student. Although I do write everyday, I'm still not published. I'll probably never marry. And there's more...

But in accepting who I am I see that I love having my own place, my sanctuary. I don't need to live in opulence to feel happy. There have been artists with far superior talent to mine who never realized their artistic dreams and they still produced. I value love far more than people who have to have a relationship. I've learned much more through the hardships rather than if I'd received everything I wanted on the schedule that I'd planned. Given my beginnings, it's any wonder that I'm here at all and yet I am. I never fully give up when things go wrong, I just start all over again. And like an inventor, I see that my mistakes and failures are steps toward learning how to live and enjoy my life each day instead of some future date.

It may not sound like much but it works for me.


Inspirational Article - Reprint

TIPS for Extraordinary Living! Written & Published by Philip E. Humbert, PhD

Inch by Inch, Anything's a Cinch

On a daily basis, most of us wish we could get "just a few more things done." We have this sense that other people are more productive, more focused, more energetic or whatever, and somehow they manage to squeeze more into their 24-hour day than we do.

Personally, I don't think they really do. In fact, I've argued for years that highly successful people tend to do LESS, rather than more. The key is that they do the RIGHT things while other (less successful) people run around doing too many things, including too many unimportant things. This week, I want to talk about three critical steps that can help you become vastly more productive and, as a result, vastly more successful. Sound good? Here we go:

1. De-Clutter Your Life. Our lives tend to be too busy, too stressed and too confusing. To become more successful you must solve this problem. It may be hard or difficult, but there really is no other choice.

If you doubt me on this, take a look at any high achieving, highly successful person of your own choosing. Pick a friend or relative who has built a successful business or quickly moved up the corporate ladder. I think you'll find a variety of "keys" to their success, but one thing you will NOT find is chaos in their lives. I suspect you'll notice they tend to be well-groomed and well-dressed. They tend to be punctual, relaxed, calm and clear in their communications. Typically (though not always) they keep a clean desk, office, and personal environment.

Success and confusion simply do not go together. To achieve more, simplify your life. Resolve personal conflicts, resign from some committees or personal commitments. Take time to de-clutter your desk, office and your life.

2. Daily Discipline. Discipline has a gotten a bad rap, and I often prefer the term "self-direction," but whatever you call it, there is no success without the ability to control your personal impulses. In a world of increasing temptations and distractions, high achievers know what they want to accomplish and they have the ability to stay "on task."

Success people quickly develop a system for planning their days, writing down their top priorities, and delaying (or ignoring) the thousand and one daily temptations to do "something else." They know the "tyranny of the urgent" is very real. The ringing telephone, the "brief" conversations in the hall, that quick errand or lunch with a friend all threaten to interrupt us, and once our productivity and "flow" are interrupted, getting back on task can be difficult.

High achievers work from a schedule. They review their goals and priorities every morning, re-commit to achieving them, and have an attitude of self-discipline about moving forward. So should you.

3. Trust the Magic of Small Steps. Finally, high achievers understand a strange paradox in life, that often small steps can achieve better and longer-lasting results than giant leaps. They understand the fable of the "tortoise and the hare." They know that too often, "haste makes waste." In their eagerness to get things done, they know the value of small steps.

Highly success people know that often the quickest way to wealth is a slow, steady routine of regular savings and investment. They know that building a business requires that each step be taken with care and precision, so they take time to plan, think, and consider their options. They know that "fools rush in where angels fear to tread" and that "Rome wasn't built in a day."

One of my favorite examples is that health and fitness cannot be obtained by one dramatic work-out that leaves us stiff and sore the next morning. Rather, fitness is the result of work-outs that are challenging, fun, effective and repeated daily.

Achieving more in life is actually not "hard." It does, however, require an understanding of basic principles and the discipline to put them into practice. There are lots of tips and tricks that can be useful, but the basics never change. De-clutter your life so you can focus on "first things." Practice personal self-discipline to can take control of your own life. And finally, master the paradox of running life's marathon one small step at a time.

To SUBSCRIBE to TIPS for Extraordinary Living!:
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Playful Weekend

Sunday 1:31 pm 10Sept06

I've been enjoying a playful weekend and play sometimes leads to blogging absenteeism. But every body needs a break from the norm, don't they?

I was out enjoying time with three beautiful men. Yes Ladies, sometimes this girl has all the luck! Not too often that I'd get a big head about it but anyway...

My luck began two minutes before my lunch break on Friday when I answered my work phone only because I recognized the phone number and with the full intention of giving the man on the other side a hard time.
"Do you want to meet me in the lobby of the Hotel?" He said teasingly.
"For lunch or for an afternoon delight?" Sometimes I just can't hold back my smart mouth. It's just my character.

Anyhow I had lunch with Ant, which is a perfect nickname for a man who is 6'7". Mustn't have a big nickname when you're a big man. We had some good laughs and even better, "get to know you," discussions.
I, as usual, know so much more personal info about Ant then he knows about me. He was the inspiration of the themes this weekend. (I've mentioned before that sometimes there seems to be themes to my weekends). The themes this weekend were: Making the time; The people you surround yourself with; and doing what you always wanted to do.

What I love about my time shared with Ant is that he really likes my mind and how I think about things. He shows me his appreciation for me and the time we spend together. He said, "I had to get together with you and I kept telling myself, 'make the time, Ant, make the time.'"
I was thrilled that he made the time. We've made plans of things to do together outside of just lunch. Things that I don't normally do. One of our inside reminders to each other is about focusing on your September eleventh person.

During the horror of September 11th, 2001, one of the things that hit me the most was about the people who knew that they were going to die and the last phone call they'd made. Ever since then I've asked myself, "If I lived a September 11th, who would I call to say good bye to and give my last words of love?"
That's an important person.

The first time Ant and I ever had lunch together, in the midst of a very serious discussion of confusing feelings and the like, I'd asked him, who is your September eleventh person. He hadn't hesitated in his answer.

On Friday, in response to his comment about making the time, I said that since my mother died I was always focused on making the time for people that I care about. Why waste time on people who don't make you feel good about yourself, people who only want to hang out with you because they are bored, people who tell you in subtle ways that they don't appreciate you.

It's nice having that surprise date out of the blue, heck, I was going to drink beet juice for lunch and instead I had a great lunch that Ant kept saying, "I feel like I haven't spent enough money on you," about it. I had a great visit with a man that knows how to make a woman feel good about herself by focusing on what is great about her, we made future plans. And hugging a man of 6'7"? Craazy! You have to stand on your tippee toes and stretch your arms real high!

Friday night was my lovely fish boy, "Got any twos?"
It was a beautiful balmy evening and the beer tasted right and he's just so damn beautiful to look at that just looking at him is enough. We had the discussions of the people you surround yourself with, doing what you want to do and making the time. Told you it was the theme. Our relationship gets deeper with each moment we get to spend together. I hooked him up (he's an actor) with my lovely director friend (who is way more deep than I could hope to be) more than a year ago and they have started doing some work together. He praises her for her easy way of dealing with talent and she praises him for being so open to doing what she puts out there in her classes. He and I made plans for this week and for an annual outing that we enjoyed together this summer. That yearly outing will be our thing.

Saturday was my day with Ado. We work together and on his days off he does volunteer work at the Filipino Centre with his wife. There was a street festival and I went to spend the day getting some culture and having a good laughing time. I know I mean something to him because of the way he treats me but something bigger happened. Every time he'd introduce me to someone from the centre they'd say, "Oh yes, I've heard your name before."

When your reputation precedes you before you meet new people, it's heart warming.

My best friend in Montreal told me once about how I could tell a man really cared about me. He said something along the lines that he'll want to do things for me, he'll want to spend time with me. It won't be an obligation, he'll do it because he wants to do it. I'd like to add that the same thing goes with your friends.

Make the time, pay attention to the people you surround yourself with and do what you really want to do.

And think about it, who is your September eleventh person?


07 September 2006

Undead Television Report

Thursday 7:33pm 7Sept06

I realize that I haven't done an undead television report since I got my television back up and running. I'm actually doing well, mind you the fall season hasn't started yet. The only new shows that I watch are Rescue Me and Weeds both on Showcase. I've been taping the shows and watching them later so I can fast forward through the commercials.

I thought last season for Rescue Me was good but this season is out of control. Dennis Leary must be worried that they won't get renewed so he's getting everything in there and it's only been three episodes. Each episode has had me throwing my hand up to my mouth in complete shock. "No he didn't!"

Unbelievable. If all the shows are this good this season, I'm in trouble.


06 September 2006

Sabotage Depression - Fear

Wednesday 8:55pm 6Sept06

It was a good timing sort of day. That good timing turned into unexpected enjoyment. When I told my friend about it, I told her in an offhand way as a response to her question. I wasn't going to say anything because somehow I couldn't express the joy and fun that I'd felt. I was almost scared to jinx it. She talked about how great it was for me and it was proof of what I've hoped for. Proof of a future grand gesture I've been silently asking for.

It's funny how I get scared of good things in my life. I want the good but then I'm scared that I'm being teased and the floor is going to fall out from under me. It's as if I can't trust and believe that the good is going to happen for me. It's about my thinking, I know that. It's the same kind of thinking that has caused my depression in the past.

After my lunch time enjoyment, I spent the rest of the day trying not to relive what had happened. I tried not to think about it too strongly. I tried to push it away as if it wasn't a big thing even though it had been to me. In fact during the enjoyable incident I'd slowed down overwhelmed with doubts. "What am I doing here? How could I possibly be enough?"

But I want to trust and believe. If I keep approaching everything with an overwhelming fear how can I expect to have what I want?

I allowed myself to think about what could go wrong... I could get hurt. Then I allowed myself to think about all the things that could be right if I allowed them to be. If I allowed everything to run it's natural course. I also allowed myself to see that I have all the power in my own life. I can decide what I want and follow up if what I want is a part of the package.

Things may or may not work out for me. Those are the choices that we all have. But with a depressive angle I can sabotage what I want and walk away telling myself, "see, I knew this would happen."

Today, at least, I found a way to sabotage my possible depression.


05 September 2006

Focus on your goals

Tuesday 7:44pm 5Sept06

I was trolling around on the internet last night. Just looking for I don't know what, inspiration possibly. I found this oracle that you run your mouse over until the cursor turns into a hand. The message was: Direct your energy toward reaching your goals instead of wasting it in anger or resentment.

It felt appropriate for me. Some times I get so focused on the garbage in life and forget to replace my thoughts with the better stuff. When I worked in day care, the majority of my kids swore. They were 10 years old and up. I told them that I didn't want to hear them swear anymore because there was no need for a 10 year old to be using that kind of language. I wanted them to create new words or new ways of swearing. So whenever I got frustrated in front of them I'd say, "Oh rickin rackin schnicken schnacken." It was from a dog in a cartoon that always got into car accidents. Penelope Pitstop was one of the characters. I can't remember the name of the cartoon.
That soon became the new way to swear in the room. It became easy for them to not swear because they had something to replace it with.

Directing my energy toward reaching my goals is exactly the kind of replacement I need. There used to be a time when I worked in retail that I couldn't get frustrated by rude customers or gossipy childish co-workers because I always had the thought foremost in my mind that my purpose is to write. I lost that focus but I'm slowly getting it back again.

Focus on one thing. Focus on a character. Focus on a page of my novel. Whatever it takes to get me through and use my energy wisely.

off to work on that goal...